Steps to Take When an Accident’s Not Your Fault

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Written by Michael Foote , founder of Quote Goat, with over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors.

If you’re involved in a car accident that isn’t your fault, there are some important steps you should take. Failure to follow the correct procedure could put you in breach of your insurance policy, or even worse see you blamed for an accident you didn’t cause.

Then there’s the possibility you won’t be able to claim compensation that you should be entitled to. Imagine the frustration of being held responsible for an accident that wasn’t your fault or having to take time off work while you recover from your injuries, only to discover you can’t claim compensation due to a minor oversight.

To help you avoid these nightmare scenarios, we put together this helpful list of things to remember when you’re involved in an accident that isn’t your fault, which we hope will come in use, particularly for young drivers, who may not have been in an accident before.

Get their details

First things first, presuming you’re well enough and the other driver isn’t seriously injured, exit the vehicle and try to get their details. If they were at fault for the accident, you’ll need to get their reg number as well as the make and model of the vehicle. Also take their name and telephone number so you can keep in contact with them.

Once you have those, request their insurance details (insurance company and policy number) too, although don’t worry if they’re being uncooperative as your insurance company will be able to locate that without much difficulty so long as you get the reg number.

Find any witnesses to the incident

If there are bystanders or other drivers who saw the accident, approach them and ask politely if they’d be willing to act as a witness. If both drivers deny responsibility, the insurance companies will contact witnesses to establish who was at fault, so be sure to take the contact details of anyone who saw the incident as you may eventually come to rely on their statement.

Call the police

Whether this is absolutely necessary could depend on the nature of the incident, as well as the other driver’s demeanour. If they’re aggressive or denying being at fault, it’s always a good idea to call the police and let them deal with the situation. If the incident was just a minor bump and the other driver is being cooperative, then perhaps the police’s involvement is unnecessary.

Take pictures

Make sure you thoroughly document the incident by taking pictures of the damage and position of the vehicles. This could help your case when it comes to making a claim with your insurer. Also take a picture of the other vehicle’s registration plate, just to be on the safe side in case any notes get lost.

Notify your insurance provider

Once you’ve thoroughly documented the incident, got the names of any witnesses and you have the details of the other driver, it’s time to contact your insurance provider. The more details you have the better as this will speed up the process.

When you speak to your insurance provider, you claim handler will give you a good idea of how to proceed and tell you anything they need from you. You may still be a little shaken up after the accident, so it’s a good idea to make a note of any advice or requirements they may have, just in case you forget.

Get injuries checked over

If you’ve suffered injuries then it’s imperative you get checked out as left untreated, they can worsen over time. A medical professional will assess your injuries and advise on the best course of treatment, so if you experience any pain or discomfort you should seek medical assistance immediately.

This step is also vitally important if you plan on making a claim for your injuries. In order to process your claim and assess the impact your injuries had on your day-to-day life, insurers will need to see medical evidence. Seeing a doctor or nurse about your injuries will provide proof the injuries existed, which will mean you’re eligible to make a claim. Failure to do this could mean the other side’s insurer calls into question the validity of your injuries.

In the event you’re involved in an accident, it’s always beneficial to have a good, reliable insurance company at your disposal. For some of the best deals on the market, compare car insurance with Quote Goat.

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