Being involved in an accident is a terrible ordeal to go through. Not only can you sustain serious physical injuries, it has a psychological effect on you as well. And then afterwards there is all the admin to sort out with your insurance company. There are a few things that you need to do immediately after the collision occurred.
Firstly, stay calm and make sure that everyone involved in the accident is fine. It won’t help to become angry at the other person if the accident was not your fault, this will only make things worse. Also remember that people respond differently to a big shock, so do not be alarmed if your passengers or the people in the other car behave strangely.
1. Remain at the scene for a reasonable period of time
You need to exchange contact details with the other driver for insurance purposes, your vehicle registration number, name and the address. If it is a serious accident, make sure that someone informs the ambulance service as well as the police about the accident.
2. Things to do at the accident scene
Make sure that you write down a detailed description of what exactly happened. The more information you can gather, the better it will be for the police report as well as your insurance claim. If possible take photos of the damage to your vehicle as well as the other vehicle(s) involved. It is better to write down the description immediately, the longer you wait the more details you will forget. Then read through it again later when you are calmer to double check everything.
Information to gather from the scene: date, time and location of accident; weather and traffic conditions; road signs and markings
Information to gather for the vehicles: make; model; registration number; color; condition; estimated speed; direction; use of lights/indicators and the number of passengers
Information to gather from the people: contact details, description and distinguishing features of driver(s); contact details of passengers; accounts of the accident from pedestrians and other witnesses; details of any police officers involved
Information to gather about the damage: description of the damage to the vehicles and any injuries to people involved
3. Report the accident
After this has been done, you will need to report the accident to the nearest police station within 24 hours. You need to personally go to the police station and it cannot be reported over the telephone.
4. Contact your insurance company to claim
With all the information gathered about the collision, you can then inform your insurance company that you have been in an accident. They will ask you various questions and you will be able to answer them with the information you gathered on the scene of the accident.
Most importantly, you will need to be able put your insurance company in contact with the other driver involved in the accident, whether it was your fault or not.