Anyone who has ever been involved with an accident understands how scary they are. It’s worth learning about what to do after an accident to make it all a little less scary.
1. Secure the Area
The first thing to do is secure the area. Call for the emergency services if anyone needs medical assistance. Check the surroundings as well. Make them safe to prevent another accident happening as a result of the one you were involved with. Turn off the engine of your car if possible and check for hazards such as fuel and debris. You should call the police if someone is hurt or there is property damage caused by the accident, or if you suspect drugs and alcohol may have played a part in the accident.
2. Collect Information
You should now exchange details with anyone else involved in the accident, such as name, address, phone number, license number, and insurance information. It’s worth keeping a notepad in your glovebox for just such an occasion. Take some photos of the accident if you have your phone with you. Take pictures of the damage to your car, other vehicles, and potential property damage. You can use these to make an insurance claim.
3. Call your car Insurance Provider
You should call your motor insurer from the scene of the accident if you can. They can talk you through the process and what you need to do next. They will advise you to never admit any kind of liability. You might be in a state of shock or not fully aware of what happened after the accident.
Even so, anything you say can be used against you and things can go wrong if you suggest something was your fault if it wasn’t. Even if the accident is a minor one and no one is hurt, you should always report it to the insurer to protect yourself against further claims. The AA Ireland Car Insurance Broker is very helpful in such situation because they guide you during this process until you get the insurance claim.
4. Repair Your Vehicle
You need to determine if your vehicle is roadworthy before you drive it again. There could be obvious damage such as flat tires and punctured radiators, but there could be harder-to-see damage such as brake problems. Never drive your car if you aren’t sure that it is safe to do so.
If you can’t drive your vehicle, then call a tow truck to get help. Don’t let anyone talk you into something you don’t understand, especially if it’s someone you don’t trust. You should also never sign any contracts as they could force you to have a certain mechanic fix your vehicle.
5. Don’t Take Cash At the Accident Scene
If the damage appears to be minimal then you might be tempted to take a cash offer from someone else involved with the accident. You should never take a cash offer like this. There could be damage that you can’t see, or you could be underestimating how much it’s going to cost to repair your vehicle. It’s also possible you might have an injury that doesn’t present immediately.
Be sure to spend time getting the contact information and insurance information from the other driver. Document the accident however you can, such as taking pictures with your smartphone. You’ll be glad you did this if it turns out the financial impact of the crash was more than the cash offer – which it almost always will be.
6. Make the Insurance Claim
Finally, you need to go ahead and make the claim with the insurance company. If you’ve had to tow your vehicle or had it looked at by a mechanic your insurer approves of, then these repairs will generally be handled quickly.
If you can drive your vehicle after the accident and it only needs some minor repairs, then you may need to obtain a few quotes from different mechanics. From there you’ll likely have to choose the lowest quote.
If you’ve been involved with an accident, you should stay as calm as possible. The best thing to do is go through these steps and let the insurance company deal with the legalities of the situation when the time comes.