Practical steps to take during and after a car accident

Accidents can happen in an instant without any warnings. Even the most careful drivers on the road can find themselves in brutal motor accidents. When a person is involved in a messy car crash, it is normal for feelings of anxiety and fear to run high, especially if they are the ones at fault. However, these emotions can often blind a person’s ability to effectively navigate the situation. In fact, these emotions often prolong the disaster.

In order to resolve the situation with as much ease as possible, one must take the right steps both during and after the scene of the accident.

What you should do during the accident

• Stay calm: First and foremost, check if you are harmed. If you are not wounded, take a few deep breaths to ground yourself and exit the vehicle to check if the other party is harmed. Then proceed to assess the impact the incident has on your vehicle and the other party’s vehicle. If you are in the middle of the road and you still have the ability to move your vehicle to a safer location, move it to the side of the road to prevent any other vehicles from getting involved in the accident.

• Exchange information with the other party: This is particularly important if you are the one at fault. Show the other party you are holding yourself accountable to avoid further conflict. Information to be exchanged should include the car plate numbers, car model, driver’s contact, witness’s contact (if any) and take pictures of the scene as evidence of the event.

• Talk it out with the other party: Depending on the severity of the accident, you might be able to reach a mutual conclusion with the other party in terms of how to settle the damage. If it was a minor fender bender, arrangements for the repair might not be difficult. However, if the repair costs are heavy, you might not be able to make any insurance claims. And this means you might need to make a report at your insurance’s accident reporting centre. A police report is required only if injuries are involved.

What you should do after the accident

• Call your insurance company: Your insurance provider will ask a series of questions to help you figure out a concise plan that will best benefit you in the situation. Your agent can also lead you to the right workshop that will allow you to make certain claims for the accident. Do note that in regards to third party claims, if you take no fault in the accident, you are free to have your car repaired at your preferred workshop. Ultimately, the final outcome of your case will still be dependent on your car’s insurance policies.

• The No Claims Discount (NCD): If you are responsible for the accident, then you may want to decide whether or not to use your NCD to make a claim. The NCD is an entitlement given to you if no claim has been made by you for a year or more under the same or existing insurer. It helps reduce the premium you need to pay the following year.

If the accident only causes a minor bump to the car, then it might not be worth the claim, especially if your NCD is a sizeable amount. Because once you claim, you will forfeit your NCD. But if the situation calls for it, go ahead and make the claim to get a full repair. Keep in mind that in a situation such as this, safety is your number one priority.

• Contact a lawyer: If the incident has caused a huge conflict where the other party is making big accusations against you, you can contact a lawyer to represent your case. It is noteworthy that you have the right to select a lawyer that you see fit. He or she will be able to assist you in filling out the claim and will be able to advise you on a variety of issues, which includes court matters. You will be required to sign a warrant to act, which formally appoints him or her as an authorised person to act on your behalf. Usually, the appointed workshop would assist to appoint a lawyer for you.

Getting into a car accident can be a frightening experience, and we hope that you never have to go through such a situation. However, if such an unfortunate event does happen, do know that Carfeels provide a towing service. But of course, prevention is better than cure so make sure that your car is always safe for the road. If your car is due for a service, book an appointment with us now!

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