In the event of an accident, what should you do?
Depending on which party was at fault in the accident, and what kind of insurance cover each person has, a vehicle can be repaired. If a driver is without insurance, they may be sued.
In the event of a vehicle accident, you must stop, assist, and exchange details with the other driver or property owner, regardless of whether anyone is injured. Failure to comply with these requirements is an offence.
If the police attend the accident scene, they may charge the drivers with violating the traffic laws.
It is your responsibility if you cause a crash and damage your car. You can file a claim through an insurance company or through the courts for the cost of repairs.
Getting the police involved
You must report the accident to the police if:
- anyone’s property is damaged
- the other person involved in the accident does not stop or refuses to give their details.
When the police attend the scene of an accident, they will usually test drivers for alcohol or drugs. Refusing the test is a serious offence.
You should do this
Write down everything you can about the accident, like the time, date, location and even the name and contact info of any witnesses. Write down the speed you believe you were travelling at and even the weather conditions. Drawing a diagram will be useful to police and your insurance company.
How the police will handle it
Police will interview the drivers and any witnesses. They’ll write a report. It may be important if there’s a dispute over who’s at fault.
Don’t admit fault if you aren’t qualified to make that decision. You might be used as evidence if you make this admission.
Depending on what you did, the police might:
- issue you with a fine
- charge you with an offence.
Getting charged means going to court.
You should contact your insurance company as soon as possible
Almost all insurance policies require you to tell them about any accidents you have. This is known as a ‘duty of disclosure’. Notifying your insurer gives you time to claim if the damage turns out to be more than you anticipated.
There are different levels of insurance coverage. Some only cover damage to other people’s property and vehicles.
The excess you have to pay depends on your insurance policy. Comprehensive insurance policies cover damage to your car too, but you may have to pay some of it.
Insurers give you different kinds of protection depending on what the policy says. Read the policy carefully before you sign it and ask if you have any questions.
If you or the other driver have no insurance
When you’re uninsured and it’s your fault, the other driver’s insurance company can sue you for the damages if you don’t pay up.
Damages may be filed against you if the other driver doesn’t have insurance.