If you have been involved in a traffic accident, consider these steps:
If you ever happen to be involved in a car accident – regardless of whether it is minor or serious – there are some important steps that you are required to follow before you leave the scene of the accident.
Switch off the ignition of the car and turn on the hazard lights.
This is the very first step that looks after your safety and the safety of those around you. The running of the ignition could cause a fire if there is any leaking fuel. The hazard lights will alert others approaching that you have stopped and to take care. If you have a warning or reflective triangle in your car, you should place this 50 to 150 meters behind your vehicle to warn other drivers there is a hazard ahead.
Notify police in serious circumstances.
It is important to let police know if anyone is injured, someone’s property is damaged or if a person fails to stop or exchange information. In these circumstances they will need to attend the accident and complete an investigation.
Exchange information with the driver/s involved
This information should include names, address and licence details, vehicle registration number. If the owner of the vehicle involved in the crash was not driving, make vehicle owner’s name and address is also required. It is also important for drivers to exchange insurance information such as the provider, insurance number and policy details.
Take pictures of the crash or accident and gather witnesses
Be sure to take photos of the accident. This includes close ups of the damage on both cars and photos at a distance, as these can be very useful for insurance purposes. In addition to this, you should try to gain the details of a couple of witnesses on the scene who can help to verify what happened. This might be useful in the event fault is disputed.
If the accident involves a dangerous load, call 000
If a truck has spilt or is travelling with a dangerous load, avoid touching any spilled chemicals or breathing any of the dust or fumes, and notify 000 immediately.
Be mindful of what you say
If the accident was not your fault, take care of the words you use when interacting with the other driver. Saying something as simple as “I am sorry” could be admitting guilt and could be used against you in an insurance dispute.
Contact your insurance provider
If you have car insurance, you will need to let your insurer know you have been involved in a car accident soon after the incident – even if the accident was not your fault.
If you need to, organise a tow truck
When speaking with your insurance company, you should check if the towing fee is covered in your comprehensive policy. A tow truck can assist to take your vehicle to wherever you advise them to take it to.
Legal support for car accidents and other traffic law related matters
A car accident can be a confronting and stressful situation to be involved in. If you end up in a dispute with your insurance provider, you should seek legal advice to assist you achieve the best possible outcome in your situation. Our team of lawyers are available to assist you. Contact us.