Download the In Case of Accident cheatsheet.
From experience (which I hope you never have) I know how rattled one becomes with an accident. A few years ago I saw my wife driving out of our driveway and being hit by another car. I did what we are taught to do: I took the other driver’s detail. Only to discover later that I wrote down my own phone number instead of the other driver’s number. Rattled, is the word.
Download the cheat sheet, keep it in your car and make sure that every driver of your vehiccle knows where it is In Case of Accident. Remember to complete the section with your own detail in advance, so that you have it ready and do not have to look for it. People tell stories how they search for emergency numbers on their phones “Have I saved it under this or that?”
Most (if not all) insurance companies offer an emergency number that you should call in case of an accident. If you call that number, they will manage the accident:
- They will arrange a tow truck, if needed. If you do not use this number for a tow truck, you may have to contribute to the towing costs. I can relate lots of horror stories of tow truck operators, that is why it is best to use an insurer approved and arranged tow truck.
- The call center will be in constant contact to see that you are OK and relay messages, if needed;
- In some cases by phoning the emergency number the accident is reported and the whole claims process is put in motion, which saves a lot of time;
- Most insurance companies have a “Do Not Tow” sticker with the emergency number on it. Make sure you have one on the windscreen. Get it from the insurance or your broker.
- Please have the emergency number on your phone and be sure that all drivers are aware of this.
Never admit guilt in any way after an accident. Even saying “I am sorry” can be taken as admission of guilt.
Take photos, as many as needed from all sides. Up close of the damage, from a distance of the whole scene. Take your time. Don’t be rushed into moving vehicles and clearing the road until you are satisfied that you have all the evidence that you can get. Make sure to get photos of the vehicle’s license disk and registration. Take photos of the name and model (normally rear side). I had a case where my client bumped a Mazda rear-left with no damage to our client’s vehicle. The claim against our client came in for a Tata LDV smashed to pieces right-front! Then you realise the value of cellphone cameras.
Get the detail of the other driver (name, phone number – let him phone you and capture the number) and address. Take a photo of his driver’s license. You will be surprised how difficult it can be to trace the other driver! Get as much info as you can.
This cheatsheet will help you to gather the information you need In Case of Accident.
Keep it handy, like a spare wheel. May you never need it.