In everyday circumstances you’d probably feel you’d know exactly what to do in the event of a car accident. But when it happens, you may be quite shaken up and tempers may be frayed even if you are, hopefully, uninjured. However minor, car accidents can be both frightening and costly, whoever is to blame. Shock can make you forget things ordinarily well-remembered, so here’s a handy bulleted list worth keeping in your car, should you ever need it.
What to do immediately following an accident:
- Stop the car as soon as it is safe to do so. Leaving the scene is an offence.
- Make sure the engine is switched off.
- Turn your hazard lights on.
- Check yourself and anyone travelling with you for injuries.
- Even if the accident is minor and no one has sustained an injury, it’s worth making a note of the details just in case anyone should make a claim after the fact.
- If anyone is injured, and/or the road is blocked, make sure to call an ambulance and the police as soon as possible.
- It may sound ridiculous, given the circumstances, but try to remain as calm as you can. This will help you to remember the details of the accident more clearly, and act accordingly.
- While it’s best to avoid losing your temper, you also shouldn’t admit fault or apologise unless you are absolutely sure you’re the one at fault. This can help to protect you later on.
Advising the authorities
If anyone involved in the accident should flee the scene without providing their details, or appears to have no insurance, it’s always a good idea to call the police. Or, if you believe someone to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then you should also inform the authorities. And this is especially true if you believe the other driver may have caused the accident on purpose. By reporting such an incident you could be helping others avoid a similar situation in the future. If anything about the accident gives you a bad feeling, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, even more so if you have loved ones or children in the car with you. Accidents should be reported within 24 hours of taking place, if they cannot be reported at the scene.
- Unless no damage or injury has been caused, you are lawfully obliged to exchange details with the other parties involved in the accident. It’s a good idea to swap insurance information too. If anyone else is a party to the accident, either as a passenger or a witness, their details could also be useful. You can never have too much information where a car accident, even a minor one, is involved. When you are able, it’s a good idea to take note of the following:
- Any injury to any of the persons involved.
- The damage to the vehicle(s).
- The weather conditions at the time.
- The date of the accident, as well as the time of day. If it was dark, include this.
- The distinguishing features of the car(s) involved – the make, model and colour, as well as the registration plate(s).
- If you have a camera with you, perhaps on your phone, it could be very helpful to take pictures at the time.
- Even if no one else is involved in the accident, for example if you’ve hit a parked car, it’s always worth leaving your details and being honest about what’s happened. It’s what insurance is for and will ensure protection for you and any affected parties.
Choosing the right repairer for you
After making sure everyone is safe after an accident, and you’ve a chance to take stock, then comes the decision about who best to repair your car. You’ll make contact with your insurer, of course, to pass on the necessary details following the incident. Your insurers, acting under their own interest, will understandably push for a repair garage of their own choosing. This decision, however, is likely to be primarily cost-based but you, as the car’s owner and everyday driver, ultimately have the power to choose. And choosing a manufacturer-approved repairer with first-hand knowledge of your vehicle must surely be the best decision. Find out why, and about the manufacturers we work with, here: https://hiltonaccidentrepair.co.uk/our-services/manufacturers/
While the information you read above is undoubtedly comprehensive, you can take the next step by Contact Hilton Coachworks today the UK’s largest Manufacturer-Approved Repair Facility: GET AN ESTIMATE: https://hiltonaccidentrepair.co.uk/get-an-estimate/