What to do after a Car Accident: Kim’s Top Tips
Photos, photos, photos
Photos are essential for providing evidence for a claim. A photo can tell a thousand words and help to create the story of what happened. Take photos at the scene of an accident but only after ensuring that everyone is safe.
It’s important that photos are taken in a certain way. Try to get photos of the following:
- The damage to your vehicle – the photo needs to show where on the vehicle that damage is, so don’t stand too close.
- The damage to the Third Party’s vehicle – make sure you also take a photo that shows their registration plate.
- The position of the vehicles after the impact.
- Photos of the location – take a photo of where the accident has taken place. Consider the road markings, especially if the accident happened on a roundabout or a junction. Are there any skid marks? Take photos of any road signs such as a give way sign or a stop sign.
- Consider different angles – it’s possible that things might be missed if you only take photos from one angle. Build a story of the events that happened.
Photos help to provide us and the insurance company with ammunition to fight for your claim. Without photos, you don’t have any proof that your damages were caused from that accident. Photos are also incredibly important as they help you to remember things that you may forget in the chaos that usually follows an accident.
You should definitely consider getting a dash cam. in Kim’s experience, claims are more successful if our clients have a dash cam fitted to their vehicle. Ideally, a dash cam should be hardwired to your vehicle rather than using the 12v outlet. This is because it makes it harder to steal, therefore reducing your risk. Even if an accident isn’t in view of the dash cam, you can usually notice your car being hit by someone else through the movement of the vehicle.
A dash cam can provide evidence in ways that photos cannot as it provides in-the-moment recording showing the sequence of events. A good example of when dash cam footage can be invaluable is if the car in front of you reverses or rolls into you.
Usually, damage to the rear of a vehicle means the driver behind is at fault for not stopping in time. But in cases where a vehicle rolls backwards down a hill into your parked car, they could try to place the blame on you. With a dash cam installed, you can prove that you were stationary very easily.
Dash cams can also record while you are not in the vehicle, so there’s always a pair of eyes around. This can be especially effective when dealing with parking accidents and vandalism.
Third Party Details
Getting the details of the other driver of the accident (Third Party) is essential. This includes:
- Contact details
- Vehicle registration
- Insurance details
If they refuse to give their details, be sure to take a photo of their registration and to phone the police as this is against the law. Kim suggests that you ask to take a photo of their driving licence, or you get them to write their own details down for you. This way, there is little room for error when passing details.
Try to establish whether they are the registered owner and keeper of the vehicle. If they’re not, try to get the details of who the registered owner and keeper is. It could be a company vehicle or the driver may have borrowed a friend’s or family member’s car.
Make sure you record whether there are any injuries,. Even if there are no injuries, make a note just in case as some people might try to claim for them later on.
In addition to taking the Third Party details, it’s a good idea to also record the following for your records:
- The time and date of the collision
- The driving conditions including the weather, lighting, and road quality
- Where the damage is on both vehicles
- The names and contact details of any witnesses
To prove your claim, your insurance company will need as much information as possible. If a name, address or vehicle registration is missing, it could take a lot of time trying to chase this and the Third Party may not answer the phone, emails or any letters sent out. This could delay the process for months. By gathering the information at the scene and sending it over, you essentially leapfrog this step and any claim you make can be settled much quicker, especially if you have video footage of the collision.
As part of our service, we can arrange insurance for your vehicle including damage or theft to dash cams. We also have a superb claims service to help you get back on the road as soon as possible. Find out more by calling the team at Weir on 01670 365620.