Car accidents happen to all of us, even if you’re the safest driver on the road. Some drivers might be careless or inexperienced, the roads may be dangerous subject to bad weather or may just be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If you drive regularly, chances are you’ll be involved in a driving mishap at one stage or another. Here’s a series of steps to help guide you through your next car accident, whether you are at fault or not.
At the scene of the accident
No matter the extent of damage to your vehicle car accidents can always be stressful so as hard as it might seem, remember to remain calm. Being calm will help you navigate the next 5 – 10 minutes after the crash as best as possible to minimise any additional problems arising.
Firstly, make sure your car is stopped in a safe place. If you can’t move your car or it’s dark use your hazard lights to warn other drivers that you’re there. If possible, remove any debris from the accident off the road to avoid obstructing oncoming traffic.
Once you’ve deemed it safe to exit your car, pending you’re able to, check on the welfare of passengers in your car as well as others who have been involved in the incident including other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.
If someone has been injured call for an ambulance. If emergency services are required remain at the scene of the crash and wait for them to arrive, for minor incidents you are not required to call the police. If there is extensive property damage however or if the other party refuses to exchange details, you should call the police.
In most cases, you won’t require emergency services, but you will always need to exchange details with the other driver. Here are the details all drivers should note after a crash;
- Date, time and location,
- The other drivers’ details (name, phone number, insurer, address, registration number, vehicle colour/make/model),
- If the driver is not the owner of the vehicle you will need to owners’ details,
- Contact details of a witness where applicable,
- If the police were required, record the officer’s contact details and their station name.
Remember to take photos to adequately document the extent of the damage for insurance purposes.
Lastly, even if you believe the accident was your fault, don’t admit responsibility until the circumstances can be accurately assessed by a third party. Saying something as simple as “sorry” could be used against in you an insurance claim and may imply being at fault when you may not be.
Under the stress of being involved in an accident, you might have trouble remembering all these important steps. We suggest using an accident report app so you can concisely collect the information you need to, there’s a wide variety available for Android and Apple devices.
Reporting the crash
If the police weren’t called to the scene, you’ll need to report the accident to the police within 24 hours. It’s imperative to report a traffic crash in Western Australia if;
- the incident resulted in bodily harm to any person; or
- the total value of property damaged to all involved parties exceeds $3000; or
- the owner or representative of any damaged property is not present.
If you were only involved in a minor accident you aren’t required to report it to the police however it may be a good idea for insurance purposes. You can report a traffic crash online with the Western Australian Police Force.
“Remembering to remain claim will help you get through the experience smoothly and before you know it, you’ll be back on the road again.” – Aaron Scagliotta (Director, Gino’s Panel & Paint).
Contact your insurer
Call your car insurance company as soon as possible. If your car needs to be towed your insurance company will send a driver to the scene, they will likely be able to organise transport home if required.
The sooner you can process your claim the faster you will be back on the road. Your insurance provider will need a summary of the below details to begin processing your claim;
- The names, contact details and licence number of the owners and drivers of the other cars,
- The detail of your and the other cars (registration number, colour, make and model),
- The other drivers’ insurance details,
- A summary of the accident.
If you’re missing some of these details don’t stress, often your car insurance provider can do some of the leg work for you and help connect the dots.
Often your car insurance provider will suggest somewhere to have your vehicle repaired or you can accumulate your own repair quotes. Gino’s Panel and Paint are approved smash repairers for most insurance companies so once we have your claim number, we can deal directly with your insurance company to alleviate any additional stress.
You can call RAC on 13 17 03 and Allianz on 13 10 13 to directly make a claim. Alternatively, you can receive a quote online from the Gino’s Panel and Pain website.
Accidents are stressful and being involved in the automotive repair industry since 1973 the team at Gino’s Panel and Paint has seen their fair share of mishaps on the Perth roads.
Whether you need a high-quality panel beater after an accident, a mechanical service, tyre rotation, wheel alignment, or want advice on your vehicle purchase – Gino’s Panel & Paint can help. Talk to our talented team of mechanics and technicians today to find out more.