Having an accident can be a very stressful experience. Whether it’s a small incident in a parking lot or something more serious, the impact it has on everyone involved can be significant. This is why we have created this quick step-by-step guide so you know exactly what to do if you are ever involved in a car accident.
What To Do At The Scene of an Incident
- Make sure everyone is safe. Call 000 immediately if you suspect anyone has been hurt or injured.
- Take all reasonable steps to prevent further injury, loss or damage. Move out the way of flowing traffic and make the area safe by switching off car engines and removing obstructive or hazards debris if it’s safe to do so.
- Call the police. This is an important step if you’ve been involved in either an accident or if your car has been stolen, damaged or broken into. Ask for a copy of the police report and record the name/number of the police officer that you dealt with in case you need to contact them again.
- Exchange details with any other drivers or witnesses to the incident. Details you should exchange include:
- Drivers/witnesses’ name
- Drivers/witnesses’ residential address
- Drivers/witnesses’ telephone number and email address
- Drivers/witnesses’ driver’s licence number
- The registration numbers 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 and write down as much as you can early on as it will help you with your insurance claim. Some of the things to note include:
- Date, time and exact location of the accident
- Environmental conditions – for example, was it raining? Was it 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 insurance companies 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 an Incident
Most car accidents are caused by a variety of different factors, so it’s not always possible for one person to be aware of everything that contributed to the incident. Depending on the severity of the accident people may be angry or even in a state of shock so it’s best to stay calm and not admit liability or agree to any payments until the situation has been assessed by the police and/or your insurance company.
Call Your Insurer
Insurance is there to protect you against the hassle of car accidents, so call your insurance company to lodge your claim as soon as possible 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 as quickly as possible.
When lodging your claim, the key things to remember are:
- You will be asked for a full explanation of the event, so 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.
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@example.com.