A car accident, even if you’re not involved, can be an upsetting experience. In the shock of the moment, you may not know what to do. Here are some tips if you are involved in or witness a car accident.

What to do if you witness a car accident

When coming up to a crash site, slow down and drive carefully: there might be injured people or car parts lying on the road.

  • Make sure you’re safe

The first thing to do is make sure you’re safe. If you’re driving, pull over to a safe place. Give yourself enough distance from the scene in case there is broken glass or leaking fuel.

  • Contact emergency services

If the accident is particularly serious – someone is badly injured, or cars are blocking traffic – call 111. For less serious accidents, you can report it to *555 – this means you’ll still be notifying the Police, but it will have a lower priority.

  • Check on others

If it’s safe to approach, check to make sure everyone involved is okay. People may be in shock, but try not to let them wander. If someone is seriously injured, don’t move them. Let them know help is on the way, and try to keep them talking.

  • Pass on your information

Witnesses can be very helpful when it comes to making an insurance claim. Pass on your contact information to all drivers involved. You might be contacted by the insurance company to provide a few more details, or fill in a form with your summary of what happened.

What to do if you’re involved in a car accident

Again, make sure you’re OK, and if it’s safe to do so, check to see if anyone else is hurt and needs help.

If the cars can be moved, consider shifting them to the side of the road. Try to take a few photos of the scene before you do this – it can come in handy for the insurance claim. Switch your hazard lights on, and if there’s a

Even if it’s just a minor crash, make sure you swap contact information with all other drivers. Note down or take a photo of their car registration, name, address, phone number and check who their insurer is.

If someone has been hurt, you need to report the accident to the police. Ideally this would happen at the scene, but make sure you report it within 24 hours.

If an uninsured driver hits your car, in addition to the information above, you’ll also need to get details of their licence, a witness account (if there is one), and details of the police officer (if one attended the scene). It’s unfortunate that something like this can happen, especially if you don’t have full car insurance yourself. You might be able to get some cover under your third party insurance – check with your insurer on whether that’s the case and the limits for your coverage.

What if you caused the accident?

If you believe you caused the accident, try to stay calm – there are some steps you have to take regardless of who is at fault. And remember, don’t admit you’re at fault to the other drivers involved.

Make sure you give your name, address, vehicle registration, insurer and, if applicable, the name of the vehicle owner to the other drivers.

If you caused damage to someone else’s property, you need to report it to the owner within 48 hours. If you can’t find them, let the police know – do this within 60 hours of the accident.

When you make your claim, we’ll listen to what you said happened, along with any witness statements, and make our decision.

Car accidents can be an emotionally charged time, but by remembering these tips you should be able to stay calm, take charge, make sure everyone is ok, and get on with your insurance claim.

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