Stay calm, don’t panic
The most important thing to remember after an accident is to keep your wits about you. Assess the damage both to your vehicle and yourself and most importantly, make sure you don’t put yourself in any further danger, for example by stepping out of your car onto a busy road without looking.
Stay at the accident scene but get to safety
Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even a minor one, this is an offence. But it is important to make sure that both yourself, your passengers and anyone else involved are not in any danger from road traffic or fallen powerlines etc.
Check on your passengers and anyone else involved
If you are in a condition to safely move around, check on any passengers and occupants of other vehicles involved to assess whether an ambulance is required. In a serious car accident, time is everything and the quicker emergency services are informed, the faster they can deploy assistance.
Call the police and ambulance if required
Even if no one seems to have sustained serious injuries and the damage to vehicles involved appears minor, it may be a good idea to contact the police. You may require a police report to file a claim with your insurance company if necessary.
Exchange driver information
Make accurate records of people and vehicles involved. Exchange driver’s licence information as well as vehicle and insurance details. There are many useful apps available to record accident details, including Car Accident Report for iPhone and Accident Report or Help I Crashed My Car for Android users.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is critically important to make sure you never apologise or admit fault. This is not something that is up to yourself or other parties involved to assess. It is up to your insurance company and the police to make this assessment and anything you say may hinder the investigation or any future legal proceedings.
If possible, take pictures of the damage to both vehicles as well as the location. This will assist both the police if required and your insurance company. Having evidence and as much information as possible will assist your claim and potentially speed up the process. Some of the phone apps listed above allow you to add photos to your accident report which is very useful.
Talk to the police or any witnesses
If there are any witnesses to the crash, ask them where they were, what they saw and make sure you get their contact details. If the police attend, they will usually do this on your behalf. You will also be required to make a statement, keep it factual and remember not to speculate.
Contact your insurance company
Contact your insurance company prior to moving your vehicle from the scene as they may have their own tow trucks or tow truck contractors they prefer to deal with and can instruct where your vehicle will need to be taken for assessment. Give your insurance company as much information about the accident as you can including whether police attended the scene.
Consider seeing your doctor for a check-up
If you were not admitted to hospital after the accident, consider seeing your doctor for a check-up anyway just to make sure. Either way, keep accurate and detailed records of your injuries sustained and your medical treatment following the accident.
Why is suitable insurance cover important?
The harsh reality is that you can simply be driving to work one morning and someone who isn’t paying attention accidentally hits your car. If you were unlucky enough to sustain injuries and have to take time off work to recover – how would you pay the bills? In the unfortunate scenario that the other party doesn’t have insurance – how are you going to get your vehicle fixed? There are many different types of insurances available to cover you for such circumstances.
- Comprehensive Vehicle Insurance – in the event of an ‘at fault’ accident, you will generally be covered for damage to your own vehicle as well as damage to other vehicles involved. It can also include cover for events such as fire and theft as well as any third party damage you may be legally liable to pay.
- Loan Protection Insurance – is designed to assist in times of hardship by protecting you from not being able to make loan repayments if you are unable to work due to injury, illness, disability or death depending on the level of cover selected.
- Shortfall (Gap) Insurance – in the event of a total loss, Gap Insurance pays out (up to the policy limit) the amount or ‘gap’ left owing between what your comprehensive insurance company pays towards your loan and the amount left owing on your loan. This is a very likely scenario especially in the first few years of a loan because you usually borrow more than the vehicle’s market value because of additional costs such as registration, stamp duty and dealer charges.
If you are looking to purchase a car, motorbike, boat or caravan, speak to the team at Approved Car Loans today.
Not only can we arrange bank-beating finance rates, we can also organise insurance cover that’s right for you and your circumstances, which in most cases can be included in your affordable monthly repayments.
Or contact our friendly team today on 1300 4 CAR LOANS (1300 422 756)
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