What to Do If you had a Car Accident | Upcover
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Are you a rideshare driver driving people for a living, or doing AmazonFLEX, food delivery while also using your car for personal use?
While becoming a rideshare driver has many benefits, including flexibility and the opportunity to make a good living, running your own rideshare business also comes with some risks, including the risk of collision with another car.
After all, the more you’re on the road, the higher the risk of being involved in an accident.
And the reality is that even though you’re a careful driver and would never endanger the life of other motorists or your passengers, other drivers might not be as cautious as you, and accidents can happen.
Now, having an accident can be extremely stressful, and knowing what to do if that happens can help reduce the stress and allow you to take the right steps to ensure the incident doesn’t impact your operations.
That’s why in this guide, we’ve shared five tips on what to do in a car accident.
Make Sure Everyone Is Safe And Stay Calm
This might sound easier said than done, but panicking will increase your stress levels and lead to poor decision-making. So, if you’re wondering what to do in a car accident, the first thing to do is ensure everyone is safe. And this includes your passengers, other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. Proceed to a quick physical assessment of yourself before tending to others.
If someone needs help or if your vehicle is blocking the road, immediately call 000 for ambulance and police assistance. Note that not helping someone injured is a serious offense. However, you should never move someone who is seriously hurt unless they’re in immediate danger, such as lying on a busy road, for instance. If you do so, be careful not to move their neck or back. Taking a first-aid course might help you better understand what to do when you hit a car and someone is injured.
You should also pull over into a safe spot, away from the traffic, if possible. And even if the accident happens in the daytime, turn your hazard lights on to warn incoming vehicles an accident has occurred. If it’s safe to do so, check whether there are any hazardous objects from the accident on the road that could cause another accident. Remove debris but only if it’s safe to do so.
Lastly, you might need your car to be towed, so make sure to familiarise yourself with the best towing companies in your city or area.
Exchange Details With The Driver Of The Other Vehicle
When you don’t know what to do in a car accident, it can be easy to forget to collect precious information.
But whether you’re at fault or not, you should always discuss with the other driver and exchange details. Fleeing the scene of an accident, even if you were only involved in a fender bender, is illegal in Australia, so this is an important step.
Some of the details you should collect from the other driver or drivers include the following:
- Address and phone number
- Registration number and vehicle make
- Insurance details
You should also record the accident’s date, time, and location, the details of any witnesses, including a witness statement describing what they saw, and photos of the damages on both cars. You should be able to produce photos that clearly show the point of collision and pictures of the crash site, including intersections, traffic lights, etc.
Also, if the police attended, make sure to record their details too.
This information will come in handy when submitting your insurance claim.
Report The Accident
Report The Accident To The Police
While you don’t always need to call the police in a car accident, and rules vary between states, here are some common scenarios that require you to do so:
- You feel like the other driver could be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Someone is trapped or seriously injured. Naturally, you should also call the police in the event someone dies.
- One of the cars has been seriously damaged.
- The road is blocked.
- Significant debris from the crash is littering the road, causing a hazard for drivers.
- The other driver fled the scene or refuses to exchange details.
Note that even if some minor car accidents don’t legally require you to call the police, insurance companies typically require police reports when processing claims. Therefore, we highly recommend you report the accident to the police regardless of the types of damage involved.
Report The Accident To Your Insurer
If you’re insured, you should report the car accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.
That’s because this is the best way to recall key information and details while the incident is still fresh in your mind. Besides, one of the conditions of comprehensive car insurance and third-party property policies is that you contact the insurer as soon as possible in the event of a car accident. What’s more, depending on the type of car insurance policy you have, you might be covered for vehicle towing.
Think of it this way: the sooner you report the car accident to your insurer, the sooner you’ll be able to get your claim processed, and the sooner you’ll be back on the road!
How To Make A Claim After A Car Accident?
When You’re The At-fault Driver
If you purchased comprehensive car insurance, your insurer should cover the damage to your car and the damage inflicted on the other vehicle. Besides, your CTP insurance should cover any medical costs incurred. However, make sure to discuss this with your insurance company before purchasing your car insurance.
As a rideshare driver, you should ensure you’re covered for any potential claims if you’re ever involved in a car accident. Also, depending on the state you live in, the loss of income incurred by the car accident might be covered.
For instance, the NSW CTP scheme can provide you with up to six months worth of income loss and medical treatment.
When You’re Not At Fault
In the event that the accident was caused by another driver, note down as much detail as possible about the event to help your claims process.
Taking pictures of the damage and accident site and recording critical information such as the other driver’s name, address, and registration number might help waive any excess when making a claim.
When Your Car Is No Longer Drivable
Depending on the type of insurance policy you hold, you might be covered for towing services, the cost of car hire, or even a new car replacement. It’s essential to discuss this particular aspect with your insurer when purchasing car insurance. After all, you need a car to earn a living!
Select The Best Coverage For Your Needs
We hope this short guide will help you understand what to do in a car accident and take the right steps towards recovering from such a stressful event.
Accidents happen. That’s why choosing the right car insurance is critical for a rideshare driver. Now, unless you’re adept at researching insurance policies, finding the right coverage for you might be daunting.
Hence, we’ve recently launched our rideshare insurance specifically designed to cover the needs of rideshare drivers. If you have questions about our rideshare insurance and want to learn more about what it covers, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Our team would be happy to help!