Motor vehicle accidents occur when you least expect it and if you are lucky enough to escape the incident with only minor scrapes and bruises, your body will still go into shock. This is when people start doing things that place their lives as well as possible insurance claims in jeopardy. It’s critical to arm yourself with the right information and knowledge and go through all the things that need to be done after an accident.
We’re providing you with this helpful step-by-step guide to take away all the guesswork and uncertainty:
- Assess yourself and other passengers for injuries:
If you or any of the other passengers are injured, call the emergency services. If you are unable to do so, call for help to passersby. But don’t be fooled; after an accident, adrenaline is released and your body goes into shock. This can often conceal very serious injuries. Therefore, always ensure that you receive medical attention after an accident – even if it is only to provide peace of mind.
- Move the vehicle out of the way:
If the vehicle can still be driven and it is in the way of traffic, move it to a safer area where it doesn’t pose a hazard to other motorists.
- Assess the other parties involved for injuries:
Once your vehicle has been parked in a safe area where you are also not facing any danger when exiting the vehicle, get out of the car to assess the injuries of all other parties involved in the accident and call for help if necessary.
- Report to the police:
If the accident was serious police should be called to the scene where they will document details of the incident and open a police report. If the accident was not too serious, you will still need to open a police report at your nearest police station once the next steps at the scene have been completed. It’s important to note that a police report must be made within 24 hours after the accident occurred. Remember to keep the case number in a safe place; you will need it for any insurance claims.
- Take stock of the situation:
Once it’s been established that everyone is safe and all the relevant officials are at the scene, start assessing the situation. Exchange information such as contact and insurance information with the driver/s of the other vehicles involved in the accident. The same goes for any witnesses. It is also very important to document the scene by taking photographs. These can be used as evidence when required later.
- Contact your insurance service provider:
If you’ve got your police report case number (whether at the scene of the accident or at your local police station), it is time to contact your insurance service provider –either directly or through your broker – and notify them of what has happened. If you were not at fault, it will be the responsibility of the other party’s insurer to take care of the damages (although you might still be liable to pay a certain excess amount). If you were at fault for the accident, it will be your insurance provider’s responsibility to pay for the damages. If there were no other parties involved, yet it can be proven that you were not negligent (like driving under the influence), your insurance provider will pay for your damages (although you might still be liable to pay a certain excess amount). In order to get this process started, you will have to file an official claim. These claims also have a certain statute of limitations, so it is crucial to ensure that the claim (whether with your own service provider or the third party’s) is filed as soon as possible. If not, the claim is likely to be denied.
The process regarding your insurance claim may seem very confusing and quite daunting. If you have a broker, he/she will take care of all the paperwork and guide you through the process. The entire process is simplified when you have a trusted expert on your side.
If you are looking for professional insurance advice or have any further queries regarding vehicle insurance claims, don’t hesitate to contact APBCO here.