What to do if you’ve had a Car Accident

NathalieMStarred Page By NathalieM, 12th Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Emergency Preparedness>Traffic Accidents

A car accident can be an extremely frightening experience. Injuries aside, there’s the permanent damage to your car to worry about, as well as the financial costs. I've been in this situation before, and it can be frightening.

It’s not something we ever want to think about, but when a car accident happens, being prepared will make the biggest difference. In can be hard in a state of shock, but staying focused can stop the situation from getting any worse.

After the Crash

Immediately after the crash, and after assessing your own welfare, switch off the engine and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers to the situation. Failure to stop could result in a criminal prosecution, so regardless of what the other driver tells you or however minor you think the accident was, always stop.

Next you’ll need to contact the emergency services, so first asses the welfare of anyone around you, such as pedestrians or the other car passengers, and decide whether an ambulance needs to be called. The police will need to be called so they can take your statement and block off the road if necessary.

Giving and Collecting Details

After an accident, you are legally obliged to provide your name and details to others involved if there has been injuries or damage to property. DO NOT accept blame for the accident until you know exactly what happened, as this can be lawfully used against you if the case goes to court. At this point, gathering information and evidence from the scene of the crash should be a priority, as it will help provide proof for an insurance claim. A camera phone is an excellent method of accurately recording the details of the accident.

Important details include:

• Date and time of the accident

• Contact details of everyone else involved

• Details of the vehicles involved; including manufacturer, model, and registration number

• Insurance details of other drivers

• Details of attending emergency services, such as name and number of any police officers at the scene

Also ensure that the accident is reported to the police within 24 hours of it occurring. Failure to do so is an arrestable offence, and could also result in points on your license and a disqualification from driving.

Contacting your Insurer

You must get in touch with your insurance provider as quickly as possible. Many policies set out a time period in which to report an incident; fail to adhere and they could refuse to pay out, leaving you to foot the bill.

A close friend of mine who was in a similar incident thought she had 2 weeks to make a claim, only to discover on closer inspection that it was actually 2 days; after putting in multiple appeals, informing her solicitors in Eastbourne and seeking out legal advice, she discovered there was nothing she could do.

Always ensure you are familiar with the terms of your insurance.

You’ll need to pass on the previously mentioned important details to your insurance provider, as well as any other information that may be deemed necessary by the insurers; this could include a record of the weather that day, or information on any witnesses that were in the area.

Once you’ve passed on these details, the insurance company will normally contact anyone else involved in the incident, as well as their insurers, on your behalf. Once communication has been established, the insurers will let you know how to proceed.


No one ever likes to prepare for the worst, but car accidents happen, and it’s inevitable you’ll be in some kind of incident if you’re a frequent driver. There’s several things you can do to ensure you are fully prepared for the day an incident occurs:

• Always wear you seatbelt and never talk on your phone when driving. Also ensure all your passengers are wearing their belts, as you’ll be responsible for their safety.

• Search online for the best car insurance deals in advance. Browse customer satisfaction scores online and see which option best suits your needs, as well as provides you adequate cover for car accidents

• Never drive whilst tired or on little sleep, as accidents are far more likely to occur. If you’re driving long distance, take a short rest every two hours to ensure your alertness.

Thanks for Reading

Safety on the road is an important issue; if you’re reading this, I hope you don’t find yourselves in a similar situation anytime soon. If you do, remember this advice and stay safe.

Please take a look at my other Wikinut articles and follow me on Twitter for more updates.


Car Crash, Cars, Emergency, Injury Lawyer, Insurance, Police, Traffic Accident

Meet the author

author avatar NathalieM
Hello! I'm Nathalie and I love writing about what makes my world tick! Fashion, weddings, interior design, health, property..You name it, I will write about it!

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
30th Jun 2015 (#)

A very very very informative article..really glad I read this.

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author avatar peachpurple
19th Sep 2015 (#)

great tips, I had been car accidents 2x, first time the car driver drove away without compensate me

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