Road accidents can be a very stressful experience. Do you know what to do if you have a car accident?
Whether it’s a small incident in a parking lot or something more serious, the impact it has on everyone involved can be significant. That’s why we created this quick step-by-step guide – so you know exactly what to do if you have a car accident.
What To Do at the Scene of an Incident
- Make sure everyone is safe. Call 000 immediately if you suspect anyone is hurt or injured.
- Take all reasonable steps to prevent further injury, loss or damage. Move out the way of traffic and switch off car engines. Remove obstructive or hazards debris if safe to do so.
- Call the police if the accident is more than minor (ie. someone is injured, property is damaged, or the other driver won’t provide their personal details). Ask for a copy of the police report and record the officer’s name/number in case you need to contact them again.
- Exchange details with any other drivers or witnesses to the incident. Details to exchange include:
- Name of all drivers/witnesses
- Residential address of all drivers/witnesses
- Telephone number and email address of all drivers/witnesses
- Licence number of all drivers/witnesses
- Registration number of all cars involved in the accident
- Record as much information as you can about the accident. The stress of car accidents can make it difficult to remember things later. So, try to write down as much as you can early on – it will help with your insurance claim. Some things to note include:
- Date, time and exact location of the accident
- Environmental conditions. For example, was it raining and/or dark, were there any activities or obstacles that obstructed vision or distracted the drivers?
- Take photographs of any damages to your car at the scene of the event
- Take photographs of any road markings or signage at the incident location
- Call your insurance company as soon as possible. Most insurers give people several weeks to lodge their claim, but the sooner you get this started the sooner they can help get you back on the road.
What NOT Do at the Scene of a Car Accident
Most car accidents are caused by a variety of different factors. It’s not always possible for one person to be aware of everything that contributed to the incident. Depending on the accident severity people may be angry or even in a state of shock. It’s best to stay calm and not admit liability or agree to any payments until the situation is assessed by police and/or your insurance company.
Call Your Insurer
Insurance is there to protect you against the hassle of car accidents. Call your insurance company to lodge your claim ASAP and let them help you. They will explain the claims process, keep you abreast of all developments and do everything they can to get you back on the road quickly.
When lodging your claim, the key things to remember are:
- You will be asked for a full explanation of the event. Have all the driver, witness and accident details handy.
- Never attempt to settle, make an offer of payment or authorise repairs without talking to your insurer.
- Do not dispose of any damaged items without seeking your insurer’s approval.
As a side note – if you find yourself without a vehicle for any amount of time, remember there are taxi subsidies for wheelchair and mobility scooter users.
If you are a Blue Badge Insurance customer, you can lodge a claim 24 hours a day by calling us on 1300 304 802 or email [email protected].