There are very few positives to be taken out of a vehicle accident.

After the initial shock, you’ll begin to absorb your surroundings. You may begin to realise what had happened and become flooded with emotion. If this is the case, there is a positive to be found. You are alive! Anger, fear, panic –these are emotions that you are most likely going to experience. However, it is still important to remain calm. Stay alert and make sure you take the necessary steps to avoid even further complications.

Step 1: Assess the scene and call for help

Turn off your vehicle and immediately switch on your emergency lights. Assess the occupants of your vehicle and then call emergency services as well as your accident insurance company. Notify them of the situation.

If the accident involved another vehicle or pedestrian, you are required by law to assist any injured person on the scene. Failure to do so could result in a criminal charge.

Step 2: If possible, remove any obstacles in the road

Safety is always the number one concern. For this reason, it is important to remove any obstacles or hazardous objects in the road, in order to prevent further accidents. However, when doing this, ensure that you have taken photographic evidence of the accident scene and have marked the position of the vehicles. Photographic evidence could prove vital in any accident insurance claim.

Only move the evidence that has to be moved for the sake of safety. It is illegal to tamper with evidence and doing so could also prove costly according to your accident insurance policy terms and conditions.

Step 3: Exchange information

All too often, accidents can turn into nasty legal disputes over who’s to blame and who’ll be held liable for payment of any damages incurred. In order to cover yourself in this instance, it is crucial that you exchange all relevant information with the third party. Doing this provides you, your personal accident insurance adviser, or your legal representative with the means to contact said third party should the need arise.

Here is a list of the all information you’ll require:

  • An identity document, including driver’s licence.
  • Contact information, including their home, work, mobile numbers and email address.
  • Their physical home and work address.
  • Their vehicle registration number and chassis number.
  • A comprehensive description of the vehicle and photographic evidence of damages incurred.
  • The exact location of the accident scene.
  • The weather conditions (visibility), conditions of the roads and the time of the accident.
  • Your perceived cause of the accident.
  • The names and details of the officials (medical practitioners, metro police and towing services) as well as any witnesses on the accident scene.

Remember that you only have 24-hours to report an accident to the police station in the vicinity of the accident. Failure to do so could result in a legal case being brought against you. It could also mean that your insurance company won’t be able to assist with any accident insurance claims made thereafter.