Being involved in a car accident can be a shocking and frightening experience and it may be difficult to remember what to do straight away. There are a number of things you should do when you are involved in a car accident to protect your interests.
If you have been involved in a car accident, you should take as many photos of the vehicles’ respective positions and damage as you can. If it is safe to do so, take photos of the vehicles where they are positioned immediately following the collision, otherwise move the vehicles to a safe place.
Speak with the other driver and obtain their contact details, including their name, contact numbers, email, residential address, driver’s licence and insurance details. If you are taking a photo of their driver’s licence always check the reverse for any change of address stickers.
Obtain the contact details and a witness statement of any witnesses who saw the collision occur.
Refrain from apologising or admitting fault to the other driver or any witnesses, even if you believe you may be at fault. This could be seen as an admission of liability, even if you were not at fault.
Generally, you do not need to call the police to report the incident, unless a person has been injured, a vehicle is obstructing the roadway, the other party drives away without exchanging details or refuses to provide you with their details, or you suspect the other party is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Write down a detailed statement and diagram of your version of events as soon as possible following the collision and remember to date and sign it. It may be some time before a dispute arises, and by that time you may have forgotten key aspects of the collision.
Consider lodging a claim with your insurer if applicable, depending on your type of cover. You may wish to discuss your policy with your insurer and consider your options prior to lodging a claim.
Where there is a dispute about who is at fault and you are not insured, you may wish to seek legal advice as to your options in recovering damages from the other party or defending your position if there is a claim made against you.
If a person or their insurer is chasing you for losses they have suffered as a result of a car accident, you should not ignore their demands. If legal proceedings are commenced against you, additional costs and interests may be added to their claim against you.
If you agree with the demands being made against you, but can’t make immediate payment due to your financial situation, you should try to negotiate with the other party or seek to enter into a payment plan. If you wish to dispute their demands, you should advise your insurer or seek legal advice about your options.
If you have been involved in a car accident and are uninsured, call us today to discuss your options.