Protecting Your Rights: What to Do After a Car Accident That’s Not Your Fault
Car accidents can be overwhelming to begin with, but it can be even more disheartening when the accident is not your fault. The issue of who caused the accident is usually the most important factor when it comes to car insurance claims because accident expenses must be paid by the responsible party.
Taking the right actions after an accident is crucial to protecting yourself, ensuring the smooth processing of insurance claims, and gathering the essential evidence for potential legal proceedings. In this article, we want to provide you guidance with the steps to take after an accident and stress the importance of getting timely and quality repairs.
Immediate Actions to Take After an Accident
Knowing the immediate actions you should take after being involved in an accident can significantly help the outcome and your well-being in the days and weeks after. Here are the steps you should take after being involved in a car accident.
Step #1. Ensure Everyone’s Safety
You should always prioritise the safety of everyone involved. If there are injuries, call emergency services for immediate medical assistance. Move the vehicles to a safe location to prevent further accidents.
Step #2. Contact Police
Report the accident to the police, especially if there are any injuries, disputes over liability, or property damage. Contacting the police after an accident is crucial to ensure an official record is created, fault is determined accurately, insurance requirements are met, and you can protect your rights.
It can save you from potential headaches and complications down the road and give you support when you are already dealing with a stressful time.
Step #3. Gather Information
Exchange vital information with the other drivers involved, as well as any witnesses present.
- Names, addresses, and contact details
- Time and date of the accident
- Car insurance details and information
- Vehicle registration numbers, the vehicle’s colour, make and model
Step #4. Document the Scene
Documenting the accident scene will be useful in the claims process and in determining who is at fault for the accident. Here are some things you should note after an accident.
- Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and visible injuries.
- Write a small summary of what happened immediately after the accident.
- Make a quick sketch showing the positions of the vehicles involved.
- Note information such as weather conditions, road quality, and lighting.
Step #5. Notify Your Insurance
Promptly notify your insurance company about the accident, even if it was not your fault. Provide them with the details and documentation that you have collected.
Most insurance policies require policyholders to report any accidents within a specific timeframe, and failing to report your accident in time can lead to the denial of your claim or even the cancellation of your policy. Your insurance coverage is designed to protect you, so by contacting your insurance after an accident, you can access the benefits and coverage you pay for, like property damage repairs, medical expenses coverage, or liability protection.
What Makes a Non-Fault Accident?
A non-fault car accident is when one driver is not responsible for causing the collision. In these cases, the blame lies with the other driver involved or external factors beyond the driver’s control.
Some examples of non-fault accidents:
- Rear-end collisions
- T-Bone collisions
- Parking lot accidents
- Left-turn accidents
- Sideswipe accidents
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Weather-related accidents
- Mechanical failures
- Animals on the road
It is essential to recognise that the determination can be complex, and insurance companies and legal authorities may conduct more thorough investigations to establish liability accurately. Seeking legal advice and providing as much evidence as possible will help support your claim in a non-fault accident.
Should You Make a Claim?
While you aren’t required to submit a claim on your insurance policy, you should still contact your insurance company and advice them of the accident for notification purposes. Even if the accident wasn’t you’re fault.
By notifying your insurance company after a non-fault accident, you are taking a responsible step in protecting your interests, accessing the benefits and coverage that your insurance has to offer, and ensuring a smooth resolution of the situation. Remember, your insurance will need all relevant details, like photos, witness statements, and the other party’s information, to support your claim effectively.
Turn to Caversham Coachworks for Quality Auto Repair After Your Accident
Getting car repairs done after an accident is crucial for several important reasons. First and foremost, it ensures your safety on the road. Even seemingly minor damages can compromise the structural integrity of your vehicle, making it more susceptible to more accidents down the road. Secondly, timely repairs prevent any further damage, potentially avoiding costly repairs down the line.
In the UK, you have the legal right to choose your own auto repair shop, particularly if the accident was not your fault. From an insurance perspective, having your car repaired promptly with the help of a reputable auto repair shop makes for a smoother claims process.
At Caversham Coachworks, we can help with everything from insurance, car body repair, dent and scratch repairs and many other services. As the leading independent vehicle repair centre in Berkshire and Central Oxfordshire, we offer reputable quality service.
Contact us today or use our free and easy estimator tool and let us help you post-accident and get you back on the road.