Excellent question! All us parents have wondered at one time…
We like to think it will never happen to us but the reality is, car accident’s do happen. Here’s hoping that if it does occur, it’s very minor.
Here’s a helpful checklist covering what to do if you have been involved in a car accident and when to call the police.
- First of all, stop your car, turn the engine off. It’s important that you do because it’s an offence not to (regardless of whether another party was involved). Stop, take a breather, try to remain calm, remind yourself not to get angry at the situation, accidents happen.
- Put your hazard lights on. Check for injuries to yourself, to your passengers and check other parties involved. If someone is injured call an ambulance immediately, assist as much as you can with the injured party. Is the road blocked? Call the police, they will need to clear the way for the ambulance.
- It’s easy to let yourself point the finger and play the blame game at this point.
Try to piece together exactly what happened BEFORE making assumptions.
- It makes sense to record as many details as possible for your insurance company as you will have to complete a report. Here’s an idea of what to include:
- The make, model, colour and number plate of the vehicles involved in the accident (take pictures of them).
- The time and date of the crash.
- Where the accident occurred
- What damage was caused to the vehicles and where (take a video/photo)
- Any injuries to drivers, passengers, or pedestrians.
- The names and contact details of any witnesses.
- Use your phone to take pictures of the scene, the positions of the cars involved, and damage to the cars.
When should I call the police?
- If someone is injured.
- If the other driver involved in the accident tries to drive away.
- If the other driver refuses to give insurance details or you think they may not have insurance.
- If you smell alcohol at the scene or are suspicious of drug use.
In these instances, you have 24 hours to report it to police.
- If you damaged a parked car or someone’s property, try to contact the owner at first. If you can’t identify the owner, report it to the police. You have 60 hours to do so.
- If CCTV footage is obtained or an eye witness saw it happen, you can be fined up to $5,000 if you don’t report the accident in these situations, unless you have a reasonable excuse.
Remember, once you are safely home, it will be time to contact your friendly insurance adviser, we will be able to help you to make a claim and answer any questions you have around the whole claims process. Get in touch today.