The first thing to do after an accident is make sure everyone is alright. Your safety is paramount!
Check every one in your vehicle to make sure they are ok, if any one is hurt, ring the emergency services immediately.
If safe to do so, get yourself to a place of safety! if you are on a motorway or dual carriageway, get out of your car ,and either get behind the barriers or up the embankment. If your vehicle is in a dangerous position or if there is any debris in the road ring the emergency services.
If you are hurt and think you have back or neck injuries the emergency services suggest that you do not get out of your car .However if the car is in a dangerous situation you may need to reconsider leaving the vehicle.
If you do have back and neck injuries, it is advised you stay in the vehicle. But please note if the emergency services “believe” you have injuries, they will cut the roof of your car to safely remove you!.They are not liable for this , so you do need to consider whether you have injuries or not.
If everyone is ok, and it is safe to do so, see if the other driver is alright. Obviously contact the emergency services if they are not.
If you have a warning Triangle, place it at least 45 meters down the road to warn other road users, protect yourself.
If possible keep your side light on if visibility is dark or poor
If possible, photograph your vehicle and whatever has collided with you, and take as many photos as possible with the vehicles in situ! Do not move the vehicles if you can avoid it, take some from close up, show what part of their vehicle has contacted your vehicle,Photograph both and also stand back to give a perspective of road layout and distance relative to both vehicles. This way we can see exactly what part of each vehicle has hit each other.
This is very very important!And greatly aids your insurer and people like us to work out what has gone on!.
Do not admit liability or say it was your fault!
Obtain the other parties details, get their name, address, phone number, vehicle registration. Make a note of how many occupants are in their vehicle, also note the make ,model,and colour of the car .
For peace of mind – (politely) ask for proof of identity, so you know the information is not false
Also request their insurance details. CHECK TO SEE IF THEY ARE INSURED! CLICK HERE!
You are entitled to do this as a refusal to give insurance information is a criminal offence under Section 154 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.So if they refuse at the scene, ring the police.
Look for any witness get their details , also look to see if any cameras are around.
If possible photograph the driver and occupants,(there is no law against this )if you feel comfortable doing this, it is up to you, but it can be of massive benefit in stopping fraudulent claims against you.
We often find that the people who object the most ,have something to hide..if someone in “any”way gets aggressive to you ring the police and advise them you have had an accident and feel intimidated by the other party.They will attend.
If the other party leaves the scene without stopping, contact the police immediately.
RECOVERING YOUR VEHICLE BACK.
If you have fully comprehensive insurance, your insurance company is liable for paying recovery fees. You can either arrange it yourself by contacting the RAC OR AA or GREENFLAG, or by contacting the POLICE, or a Recovery firm if you know one.
Irrespective as to what action you take the insurance company will re-imburse or pay these fee’s.
PLEASE NOTE THE NEXT BIT!VERY VERY IMPORTANT!!!!
You are responsible for the recovery fee for storage from this point up to telling the insurer! So if you leave the car in storage for 3 weeks and then contact your insurer, you are responsible for these charges.
What we would advise, if you want to use your own repairer, get your car recovered directly to their premises if you can,rather than going to the recovery agents yard.
If you have the space and it is off the road, your own home address may be the best place for the vehicle, you are now in control of the claim process.
If you are only insured THIRD PARTY FIRE AND THEFT, you are generally responsible for the recovery charges of your vehicle unless it is someone else’s fault or it says differently in your policy.
BE AWARE! the POLICE have something called “statutory instruments” which they use to arrange the recovery of vehicles through police contractors.These are done at set rates agreed under the the above “statutory instruments” and are not cheap.
If the police move your vehicle , you do need to advise your insurer swiftly, within 48hrs, but it is up to you where it gets moved to!
Our advice, is that if you can arrange your own recovery do so, rather than allow the police to do it.