What to do if you have a car accident

What you need to do the moment you have been involved in a car accident

  1. Get the registration numbers of all of the cars involved in the accident. Get the registration of the vehicle you believe is responsible for the accident first, then get the others. Taking pictures on your mobile phone is a perfect way of getting the registration number, but also the cars make, model, colour and scene of the accident. Taking pictures of the third party vehicles is important as there is a yearly increase of reported cases of cloned number plates.
  2. If you’re old school and you don’t own a mobile phone or you don’t have it handy, then you need a pen and something to write on quickly. Again, collate the following: car registrations, make, model, colour from point 1, or keep a cheap camera in your car.
  3. Ask everyone involved for their full name, address and phone number. Ask for proof of ID such as a driving licence for your reassurance. Just tell a little white lie so the person isn’t offended like, “the last person I had an accident with was uninsured so I’m paranoid of it happening again.”
  4. Always ask who their insurance is with and¬†ask them if they know their policy number. Most people won’t know their policy number unless they keep it in their car documents within their car. Everyone should know who they are insured with, though, and if they don’t, make a conscious effort to get a picture of their ID.
  5. If you’re not old school, take as many picture as possible at the scene of the accident. Most client pictures we receive show us the damage to their car but not the scene of the accident which can ultimately prove who was at fault. Take quite a few steps away from the accident and try and get the whole scene – including the road markings, cars involved, signs and even the people involved. This will cover the description point in the next step. Remember, you can take pictures of your damaged car later.
  6. If you haven’t got a camera on your phone, then take note of everyone’s description: gender, height, hair colour, build, skin colour and facial/distinguishing features (e.g. beard)
  7. Take a look around you. Is there anyone who saw the accident that you could ask to be a witness. If the case has to go to court, a witness can go a long way. Get their name, number, address and establish whose fault they believed the accident to be.
  8. Take note of the name of the road and which direction you were heading.
  9. Always go to your GP if you have been injured so there is a record of the injury. 12 months on, you may not remember the date of the RTA or the injuries suffered.
  10. If you are struggling to collate this information because the person(s) are not co-operating or you suspect that they are uninsured, get as much information as possible – vehicle registration, make, model, colour, description and call the police.
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