What do you do after a minor car accident?

After a minor accident, you must take the same steps as you would take in a more serious accident. Things may seem minor, but the other party can change his mind and start to make claims after the event unless you follow all the correct steps. When a vehicle is involved in an accident, there are specific steps required by law and others that are necessary to help ensure the claim will be classified as valid by the insurance company. If the accident is minor and does not involve other parties, but has left the car in an unsafe state, contact a recovery vehicle service to get your vehicle towed to safety and begin repair

Requirements by law

For all parties involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is required by law that all involved remain at the scene of the accident until the authorities arrive. Until the authorities arrive, the vehicle should be left where they come to a stop after the collision and the vehicle ignition turned off. Failure to do so could get the driver cited by the police.

Once the vehicles come to a stop, those in the vehicles should assess if anyone in their vehicle is injured and in need of assistance. If more than one person in a vehicle is uninjured, then one should be notifying the authorities of the accident. If an injured person is present, this should be told to the authorities over the phone so a medical team can be dispatched. 

The occupants of the vehicle should disembark from the disabled vehicle if injuries permit. Immediately look around for any signs of fire or the smell of petrol. If present, get everyone away from the source just in case there is an explosion.

When no dangers are present, uninjured occupants should check on the health of the people in the other vehicle. If possible, take pictures before approaching the other vehicle and the sitting locations of the occupants in the other vehicle. Ask the occupants of the other vehicle if they need any assistance, and inform them the authorities have already been notified.

Once the situation of injuries has been addressed, take pictures of the accident scene from all angles if possible and wait for the arrival of the authorities.

All interaction with the occupants of the other vehicle should be recorded if possible and kept to a minimum.

Things to do while waiting for the authorities to arrive on the scene

  • Address any minor injuries like applying a dressing to a wound.
  • Assemble all vehicle, driver and insurance information to be presented to the authorities once they are on the scene. This should include any data from a dashcam or other telemetric device in the vehicle.
  • Get comfortable while waiting for the authorities. If possible, have as little interaction with the occupants of the other vehicle so the stories of what happened will not become blurred and to help prevent any arguments.
  • Call the motor trader business office that owns the vehicle and inform them of the accident.
  • If there are witnesses not involved in the accident around, get their personal information and what they saw. Record it is possible.

Things that should be done once the authorities are on the scene

  • Above all, follow the direction of the authorities.
  • When asked to give your statement of the events, present any evidence like dashcam videos and only tell the truth of what you know. Do not include assumptions.
  • If someone has been drinking alcohol, be prepared to take a breath analyser test. This is where the pictures of where people were sitting would be of vital interest to the authorities.

Once the authorities have finished their investigation, and they authorise the removal of the vehicle, get your vehicle back to your place of business either by driving it or having it towed. If your vehicle needs to be repaired, a cover note on a temporary loan vehicle will get you back on the road quickly.

Contact your insurance company

Contact your insurance company should occur on the same day as the accident. If this is delayed, it could cause the claim to be rejected. Turn over all evidence you gathered at the scene including the dashcam file if present, any video or audio recording that were made, all the pictures taken along with the statement given to the authorities to the insurance company. Provide your insurance company with the contact information of any witnesses and the occupants of the other vehicle involved in the accident.

Failure to follow the above instruction can lead to a claim being rejected by an insurance firm. Above all, when involved in a motor vehicle accident, do not leave the scene before the authorities arrive. Doing so is a crime.

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