No one wants to be in a car accident. However, not knowing what to do may add more misery to your problems. If you ever (unfortunately) get involved in a car accident, we have included a complete checklist of what to do next. This will help you manage the situation maturely.
Let’s look at the tips.
Complete Checklist – What To Do Right After A Car Accident
- Never panic and leave the scene of an accident. It usually implies guilt and criminal charges may arise. Instead, turn off your vehicle and switch on your hazard lights.
- Assess both yourself and your passengers for injuries, then check the other vehicle’s occupants if necessary.
- In the event of an injury, call emergency services and attempt first aid measures.
- Move yourself and your passengers to a safe area, most likely off the road and onto a verge or footpath.
- Do not discuss the accident with anyone and never admit fault in any circumstances. The only discussions you should have are to exchange driver details and collect evidence. If you have passengers, request them not to say anything to anyone.
- Do not move your vehicle from its resting position after impact. Also, advise the other driver to leave their vehicle until details are recorded.
- If the accident does not involve another driver, such as hitting a parked vehicle, be sure to try and locate the vehicle owner, and if unsuccessful, leave your contact details.
- If the driver of the other vehicle flees the scene of the accident or refuses to provide their details, call and notify the police.
- In the case of a major accident requiring assistance to move the vehicles or where damage has occurred to public property such as traffic lights, call and advise emergency services.
- Although different states do not require police to be notified for minor accidents, it is advantageous to call them and file a police report. At the very least, it will help speed up your insurance claims process.
- Exchange contact details with the other driver and record the conversation if possible. Having a record of them admitting fault or even just saying sorry is invaluable. Many people may claim a recording will be inadmissible in court without the other party’s permission. Still, the Listening Devices Act allows you to record a conversation to be used in a legal matter.
- If the other driver co-operates, be sure to get them to write a statement of their version of events. At the very least, try and make an audio recording of what they say after the accident.
- When gathering the other driver’s details, request to see a copy of their driver’s license and record the details from there to prevent a false name from being given.
- Note down their name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number, and expiry date from the license, request their contact phone numbers and the name and address of their employer, insurance company, and insurance policy number.
- Note down the other vehicle’s registration number and registration expiry date and photograph them if possible. Request to view a copy of the registration papers to make sure they are the vehicle owner. If not, ask them what their relationship with the driver is and if they have permission to be driving the vehicle.
- Note down details of the accident location and the time it occurred. The street address is important, and noting weather and road conditions can be helpful too.
Inspect Your Car
Once you’re done with all the formalities after the accident and parked your car in the garage, it’s time to inspect your car for broken parts. For example, if your car’s headlight is broken, you may need to browse a headlight assembly website to get the headlights working fine again.
If needed, take your car to a local repair shop for repair.
This is an exhaustive list and may take a while to memorize and implement. Some of the points listed may seem petty and unnecessary but try telling that to someone who wasn’t at fault in an accident yet failed to follow these procedures and ended up being found liable for the accident.