With multiple accidents happening on our roads daily, South Africa has the 42nd highest road mortality
rate in the world. So, in this article we look at what you need to do should you find yourself in this
Stop the Car Immediately
When you are in an accident, you need to stop your vehicle immediately. Failing to stop can be a severe offence and can lead to criminal charges against you as a Hit-and-Run driver, especially if there are injuries or fatalities at the accident. Remember to switch on your Hazard lights to let other drivers know that you have stopped and that there might be a problem or an accident. Make sure you can safely exit your car before opening any car doors.
Check on Everyone Involved in The Accident
Before scoping out the damage to cars and property, check on all the people involved in the accident and assess their injuries. Call an ambulance if any of the people involved require medical attention. Do not move an unconscious person or try to give medical care yourself.
Call the Police and Clear the Road
If someone is injured, has died or significant damage has been done to vehicles or property, you need to contact the police to come to the scene of the accident. You will need to disclose your vehicle registration number, your name and address to any person who has authority to that information.
Collect and Exchange Information
Note down as much information about the accident as you can. The scene, vehicles, people, damage, and injuries. Ensure you take down names, contact numbers, licence plate numbers, drivers licence numbers and insurance information for every driver involved in the accident as well as details of any passengers involved. If there are any witnesses be sure to take down their contact details. In the event of an accident never admit to liability, so never say that you are “sorry”. Only exchange details and let the insurance companies handle the matter or claim. Should there be a third party in contact with you or ask you what happened, you should never tell them your version of the event that happened. It can compromise your claim, so just inform the third party to get in contact with your insurance.
Document the Scene
Remembering every detail of an accident is impossible, but also very important. Capture photos of everything and take note of when and where it happened. Pay attention to your immediate surroundings such as weather, road conditions, potholes and broken traffic lights. All this information is going to come in handy when you are submitting a claim.
Report Accident to Your Insurance Company
Inform your car insurance company ASAP and be honest about what happened and the injuries you incurred. You need to give an accurate explanation, so refer to your notes and photos when speaking to your insurance company. If your insurance company discovers any dishonesty from you, there might be severe consequences including non-payment of your claim. Even if you do not want to claim, you need
to inform your insurance within an appropriate time frame that an accident has happened. If you need insurance cover for your new sports car or your first student car, First International can find the insurance coverage that is applicable to you.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is provided for informational and educational purposes only.
First International Portfolio Managers will not be liable for any damages, loss or penalties incurred.