What to do if in a Motor Vehicle Accident
Did you know that approximately $27 billion worth of damage is done to vehicles involved in accidents across Australia each year?
We work a lot of cases where a driver has been involved in an accident and failed to obtain the required information. It’s quite easy to get stressed and confused at the scene of an accident, which is why we want to talk about what you should do if you’re ever in one.
Stop & Breath.
It may seem obvious, but it’s more important than you think, especially in the initial stages of the incident. It’s amazing how often people try to avoid their responsibilities when in an accident. Leaving the scene of an accident WILL catch up with your and Police can and WILL charge you. It is your legal obligation to stay at the scene and exchange details with the other driver, so stop, breathe and have the conversation.
Ensure the safety of yourself and others.
Check for injuries to yourself, the passengers in your car and anyone else nearby.
This is your duty of care as a road user. Your initial focus needs to be on the physical well-being of all involved, even if you don’t know them.
Call 000 where required.
There are two reasons to call 000 in this instance. The first is for the ambulance in case of any injuries.
The second is for the police so that they can take a report and assist with clearing the traffic to prevent further incidents. Leave it to the professionals, don’t try to do these tasks yourself.
Do what you can to prevent further damage or injuries from occurring.
This may include SAFELY moving debris off the road, moving yourself and others off the road onto the footpath or other stopping zone. However, do not perform any tasks whilst injured and ensure that you don’t perform tasks that will endanger those around you.
Exchange details with the other driver.
One of the most important things to do after all safety precautions have been met is to exchange details. However, if you’re not sure what details and pieces of information you’ll need, here’s what we recommend:
Firstly, take a photograph of their license if they agree, both front and back.
Confirm their correct address and a contact phone number.
Ask to then call that number to ensure that they details they’ve given you are correct.
Ask for their insurance company details and also give them yours.
Take photographs of license plates and damage to both vehicles, plus surrounding area and any skid marks on the road.
Note the date, time and location of the incident.
Try and subtly record any conversations you are in at the time (either video or audio only).
Do NOT admit fault.
Admitting fault can void your insurance policy. Even if it’s obvious and you feel embarrassed or threatened, we advise that you have your insurance company take care of the matter. Let your insurance company do all the talking, that’s why you pay insurance.
Find witnesses and obtain their contact details.
This can be vital if you’re not at fault and the other driver then contests liability. Witnesses may be called to court to give evidence.
Contact your insurance company and ask their advice as soon as possible.
It’s amazing how often another driver can admit fault at the scene of an accident, but then change their mind and attitude the day after. You may think they are trustworthy and helpful, but we believe that if you follow our guidelines that you’ll protect yourself and be in a good position in regards to recovery of costs from an accident.
Accidents are incredibly common, so don’t think that it won’t happen to you. You might be the safest driver out there, but you have to remember that not everyone has your safety capabilities. If you, or someone you know needs assistance in debt recovery, or has been in an accident and has any questions, feel free to contact for any and everything you might need to know.