Veteran members of the ‘stang gang will identify with the icy-cold feeling of undiluted terror when our pride and joy is involved in a collision. Car enthusiasts spend a lot of time, effort and their hard earned money making their car perfect so when you’re involved in a collision it’s understandably easy to get emotional.
If you’ve been on the road for decades, chances are that you’re familiar with the procedure of how to deal with this stressful situation, but every crash, bump and collision is somebody’s first and it’s imperative that you act appropriately and decisively in those difficult first few minutes.
The protocol is pretty much the same, regardless of fault but if your car’s been hit by another driver then controlling your reaction is even more important.
Stop, breathe and take stock
Stopping is your legal responsibility (and that of any other drivers too), but we also recommend taking some deep breaths and trying to take stock of the situation.
The other driver is likely as shaken up as you are and likely mortified by their culpability. This was not a deliberate act of vandalism on their part but more than likely an accident.
Do not approach the driver until you feel that you can do so in a calm and rational manner as the last thing you need is for this situation to escalate.
Who to call
Again, it’s your legal duty to inform the police of the collision within 24 hours and you should call them immediately if the other driver makes off straight away or reacts aggressively and you feel that the situation may need mediation.
If your vehicle doesn’t already have a dash cam then we recommend installing one as soon as possible as it will be your best weapon in exonerating you from blame.
If you, or any of your passengers been injured as a result of this collision then you must call an ambulance immediately.
At a later point you may want to involve a lawyer who provides legal counsel for auto accidents as they can help ensure that you are adequately compensated if the collision is not your fault.
What information you need and from whom
While you have a duty to provide your name and contact details to any other parties, there is also information that you’ll need from others involved to aid your insurance claim.
While you should be polite to others involved, avoid making apologies or admissions of blame at this point as it may harm your claim later.
Collect the names, addresses and contact details of other drivers, passengers and any witnesses to the collision.
This is the most difficult and stressful part of the ordeal and while you may just want to put all this behind you it’s vitally important to be thorough at this stage.
Try and collect all of the following if you can:
- Registration numbers of all vehicles involved.
- Make, model and colors.
- Time and date of collision.
- A brief description of the road and driving conditions (e.g. weather).
- A list of damage sustained to all vehicles, drivers and injuries to passengers.
- Take as many photos as you can of damage to your vehicle and injuries sustained to yourself or your passengers.
Starting the claim
With that ordeal out of the way, your insurance company should be able to take the matter fully out of your hands. They’ll have the information to process your claim quickly and effectively while you can get back to safe and pleasurable driving.