It can be frightening to be in a car crash. According to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, there are at least 20 car crashes reported each month in the Northern Territory. Knowing what to do after you’ve been involved in a car crash is important.
Read on to discover what you should do when you’ve been in a car accident.
Step 1: Stop the car and check to ensure you and your passengers are free of injuries.
If you feel any signs of a headache or dizziness, loss of motion control in your body, any numbing feeling or any sign of tenderness at all in any part of your body, do not try to move yourself out of the car before you have been thoroughly checked. If you have your mobile phone near you, reach for it and dial 000 for an emergency ambulance. Only get our of your car if you think you are not physically injured or you are in a dangerous position on the road.
Step 2: Report the incident to the police immediately.
Take down as much information as possible about your surroundings – where the accident happened, what time it happened, how it happened, and if other vehicles were involved. You’ll need this to provide to the police when they arrive. Take photos on your mobile phone if you can, from multiple angles.
If you believe that any other drivers involved in the accident might be intoxicated with alcohol, you can also advise this to the police. Try to get the other driver’s information (name, vehicle registration number, license plate number, mobile/phone number, insurance policy number and provider).
If the other driver drove off without waiting for the police to arrive but you have the number plate of their car, the police will be able to trace the vehicle’s owner.
Whether or not somebody got hurt in the incident, you need to inform the police about the accident within 24 hours. As much as possible, try to get the following information you can use for filing for insurance claim later:
- If possible, get their email address, find out if the driver is the owner of the car or what the relationship of the driver is to the vehicle owner.
- Take photos of the car crash scene and the driver. If you have your phone with you, you can take photos of your car and the damage to it as well as the surrounding where the incident occurred.
- Write notes on what happened prior to the incident and other valuable details. Also, never sign any document or admit liability. Wait for the police to arrive and only provide your details when needed for insurance purposed and the police report.
- Do not leave the scene before a police arrive even when the other driver has arranged to cover your insurance expenses or admitted liability. Police reports strengthen your case in insurance claims because they represent an unbiased third party.
- Get the police officer’s name, badge number, phone number and police report number.
Step 3: If you doubt that your car is roadworthy after the incident, order a tow truck.
You can ask the police officer to drive you to your destination instead. You can even ask the police officer to call a nearby towing company to take care of it for you.
Step 4: Call your car insurance company to inform them of the incident.
Ask them for advice about what actions you need to take. If you are the driver at fault and you have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance, your insurance company will be able to help you process any claims.
If you are the ‘not at fault’ driver, then your insurance company will be able to help you through the process.
Before claiming on insurance, check how much excess you have. Also ask about what will happen to your no-claims bonus.
Even if the damage on your car is just a minor scratch and you wish to pay for the damage yourself, you still have to let them know of the car crash incident as this could affect your ability to file claims and insurance in the future. You just simply advise them that you do not need to file a claim so they can put it in record.
You can be able to claim against the other party’s insurance for more than just the damage caused to your vehicle including the cost of hiring a temporary replacement vehicle while yours is in one of Darwin’s crash repairers.
Recent court cases have established that you are entitled to make a claim for this “consequential loss”. You simply show a reasonable need to use a temporary vehicle in replacement to your damaged one under crash repairs. Some car rental companies provide this type of “car accident services” in form of credit to drivers at no fault during the car accident. Your insurance agency will be able to advise you about where you stand in relation to this.
To make a claim for personal injury suffered in a car accident you can contact the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA). But consult your lawyer first. There may also time a limit for making a claim.
Step 5: Find the right Crash Repairer in Darwin.
After reporting the car crash incident to the police, filing for a police report and advising your car insurance provider, the next step is finding the right car crash repairers in Darwin for quotes. A panel beater will assess the damage of your vehicle and check if it will need a minor or a major repair.
After a complete vehicle inspection, your Darwin panel beater will call your insurance company and let them know what damage the car has suffered and the repairs associated with it along with the cost.
It is important you get a reliable and reputable panel beater company that can repair your car, can efficiently work well with your insurance company to get the best possible outcome and get your car back in the fastest time possible. A panel beater like Coconut Grove Panel and Paint will have their experienced professionals working for you and directly with your insurance company so you can rest assured your car will be returned to you in great condition.
A panel beater like Coconut Grove Panel and Paint provides free quotes, high quality workmanship, and a three-day work around.
Getting into a car crash incident can be stressful. If you get to a minor or serious car crash, look back on this list so you will have a guide on what to do. Remember to stay calm, check yourself for any injuries including your companion in the car, dial 000 for emergency and police help, contact your insurance for damage claim, and get a refutable panel beater to take care of your car damage for you.