Do’s and don’ts after an accidentComment on this story
Johannesburg - Being involved in a car crash can have an extremely traumatising effect on your reactions, both physically and mentally.
In most cases, accident victims become so overwhelmed by the experience that they forget what needs to be done after it happens. Roadside assistance company Plan B offers drivers a checklist that we reckon is worth keeping in your glove box.
1 Ensure the vehicle is moved out of harm’s way, if safe to do so, so as to avoid any other accidents and injuries. If you are on a very busy road or are unable to get off the road, get everybody who was in the car with you out of the car and out of danger.
2 Make sure nobody is injured. If there are any injuries then your first call should be to an ambulance service or the traffic department who will, in turn, alert them.
3 It’s imperative to write down all the necessary details of the other person involved in the accident. You need their name, address, telephone number and email address, so that they can be contacted by you or your insurance company.
4 Other important particulars include their ID number, driving licence number (also check the code on the licence), vehicle registration number, as well as the make and colour of the car.
5 When taking down particulars, check whether their licence disc is valid and that the registration number on the number plate matches the number on the licence disc.
6 Note down important details such as time of the accident, location and the number of passengers and/or people involved in the crash.
7 Take as many pictures of damage to your and other vehicles as possible. Should the other party make a false claim of any other damage to their car that was not caused by the accident in question, the images might serve as proof against a claim.
8 All crashes should be reported to the police, no matter how slight the damage is. Should you not report the case, the other party could claim that it was a hit-and-run or that you refused to show him or her your details. You also need an accident-report number in order to claim from your insurance.
1 Don't lose your cool, make sure you stay calm and collected. Even though you may be angry or emotional, losing your temper could make the aftermath of the crash even worse.
2 Don’t leave the accident scene until all contact, personal and vehicle details have been noted.
3 Don’t be dishonest when giving your statement to the police. By lying or exaggerating you are only jeopardising yourself.
4 Don’t forget to ask witnesses for their names and contact details, just in case legal action is taken.
5 Don’t forget to keep proper documentation of the accident; you will need proof to show your insurance company so take pictures using your phone or camera if available.
6 Don’t wait too long to claim as some insurance companies have a claims limit period. If either you and your passengers or the other person and their passengers were injured in the crash, it’s important to mention this to your insurer to avoid any other major financial claims.