So you’ve had an accident in your car. What do you do?
First thing is to stay calm. Even a small bump can be stressful so take a second, make sure you’re okay and if you are take a breath and then you can deal with it. If you have any passengers in your car you should ask if they are all okay. If everything is well with them, then you can speak with the other driver.
Just because you’re feeling okay doesn’t mean that he other driver will. Remember that they may have already been having a bad day so they could be agitated by the accident. So speak with them but keep calm and if they seem aggressive or you’re worried then dial 101 from your phone and let the police know where you are and why you’re worried.
There are a couple of things that you must do by law so its best to deal with them first. That way you’ll have some time to collect your thoughts and think about what to do next. We have a quick Accident Checklist you can download here and keep in your phone. That way you’ll know exactly what to do and it’ll guide you though all the information you need to get.
What you must do by law
- You must stop – it is a criminal offence to drive off after an accident, even if it was the most trivial accident
- You must report the accident to the police – but only if you are or someone tells you that they have been injured in the accident
- You must provide your name and insurance details to any other drivers involved in the accident
Find somewhere safe to park if your car is still derivable. Ask if anyone has been injured and if they say “yes” call the police and an ambulance if the person needs help. Then give your name, name of your insurer and your policy number if you have it, to any other drivers involved – and make sure that you get their details too.
After you’ve taken care of the mandatory things there are several other things that you should do. If the damage is so minor that you agree at the scene that no one needs to pay for any repairs and that insurers don’t need to be involved, then you don’t need to do anything else but you should take a note of the other driver’s registration number.
If there is damage you think would cost money to repair (even if you won’t have it repaired) then you should do the following:
- Take Pictures! I know it may seem overkill but take as many pictures of the accident as you can. Don’t worry about the other driver, they’ll probably be doing the same and if not they will once they see you doing it. Walk back from the crash and try to get a picture showing both cars and the full road. This will help to set the scene because chances are, even if you weren’t at fault, the other driver will tell their insurer that it was all your fault. Get pictures of any damage to both cars and ALWAYS get a clear picture of the other car’s registration number. If possible, take a picture of the other driver’s Driving Licence – but only if you think it is safe to ask.
- Get Details! Don’t be shy. If anyone has stopped to look at the accident, ask if they saw it. If they did, ask for their name, number and address. Not everyone is comfortable giving their details to strangers but it can be extremely helpful, especially where the accident wasn’t a rear-end collision. Explain to them that you just want there contact details to help you. Most people are nice at the core and want to help when someone asks.
- Be Safe! If the damage to your car was minor and you can still drive it then you can continue with your journey, but you should arrange to have the car inspected as soon as possible as there may be damage you can’t see easily which would make it unsafe. If there is any debris or parts of your car that have come off, then you should pick these up if you can and put them in your boot. If you can’t drive your car, you will need to move it to a safe place so you’re not disrupting traffic or arrange for it to be towed.
- Call Us! No excess and nothing to pay if you weren’t at fault. No matter what time of day or day of the week, call Rapid Claim on 0141 343 2411. If you call out of hours, leave a message with your name and number and one of our on call agents will call you back. We’ll arrange arrange for your car to be towed from the scene, a replacement car and we’ll even take you home. We’ll have your car repaired if it can be, and if not, we’ll give you a like-for-like replacement until we get your compensation so you can buy a new car.
So if you’ve been involved in an accident. Don’t call your insurer – Call Rapid Claim on 0141 343 2411. You’ll get you car repaired or compensation to buy a new one and there’s no policy excess, no charges, and you get to keep your no claims history.