What to do after a car accident

A car with a warning triangle in front of it

Most of us will have an unfortunate accident at some point in our lives and, whether we’re at fault or completely innocent, it’s worth knowing exactly what you should do in the immediate aftermath. So, if you’re not entirely sure what to do after a car accident, we’ve created an easy to follow checklist to ease your worries.

Stop immediately after any car accident

No matter how small the accident, you always need to stop – even if you don’t think there’s any damage. It’s the law.

You have to pull over immediately, even if there’s no safe place, so make sure your hazards are on and you’re incredibly careful when walking around the car. If you block the road as a result of your car accident, make sure other drivers are aware of the hazard.

Check for injuries and car damage

Before you even get out of the car, make sure you weren’t hurt in the accident. Always remember that even if you don’t notice an injury at the time, it doesn’t mean that you haven’t suffered one. Symptoms might not show until later, so move carefully just in case there is an underlying injury.

Make sure any other parties involved weren’t injured in the accident either. If the accident is serious, call 999 but, if no one’s hurt, the road isn’t blocked and both cars are still drivable, the 101 non-emergency number is fine. In these cases, it doesn’t have to be at the scene, but you must report all accidents to the police within 24 hours. Failing to do so can lead to serious consequences.

Swap details with the other party in the car accident

This includes their name, address, phone number and insurance details as well as noting down things such as their registration number, a description of their car and any other details like if they’re the registered driver for the car or not. This is useful if they’re driving a courtesy car or a company vehicle registered in someone else’s name. The more details you note down, the more helpful it will be to you and your insurance company if you plan on making a claim.

The most important thing throughout this whole process is to never take responsibility for the car accident. Don’t even say sorry. Any sort of verbal admittance of guilt harms an insurance claim, even if it turns out you weren’t to blame, and you’re entitled to compensation. That could be lost, even if you don’t openly take responsibility for the accident. You should try and discuss the accident as little as possible with other affected parties, outside of taking the relevant details, to avoid slipping up.

Contact your insurer

Always let your insurer do the talking about your car accident. Once you’ve exchanged details and left the scene, immediately contact your insurance company. Give them all the relevant details including any photos you took at the scene to help them decide if you have grounds for an insurance claim. They will then begin the process and keep you updated about your claim as it progresses.

So that’s what to do after a car accident. If you stay calm and follow this checklist, the right laws will be followed, and the right people will know about the incident to help you reach a proper conclusion. Depending on the scale of your accident, a trip to the garage might be the next step! Here at Neves Garage in Sidcup, we deliver high-quality repairs at incredibly reasonable prices to help get you back on the road after an accident. Why not book your appointment through our online booking tool today?