Accidents are unpredictable and can set back an individual. They can be emotionally and financially overwhelming to the parties involved. Therefore, it is important to know what to do in case you or your loved ones are involved in a car accident.
This article will help you know the steps to take when involved in a car accident and help you handle the situation better.
- Remain at the scene of the accident.
In case of any road mishap or accident, whether minor or major, never leave the scene unless your life is in danger. Fleeing the scene whether or not you are on the wrong is a punishable offense in Kenya under the Traffic Act Chapter 403, Section 73. The first thing you should do is to make sure your car engine is switched off and turn on your hazard lights to alert other road users of your presence. Take a look at your surroundings and check yourself and your passengers for any bodily injuries depending on the extent of the accident. If you are seriously injured, try not to make any movements but alert anyone around you and wait for assistance. If it is a minor accident with damage only to the car, move away from the road to a safe place. In the unfortunate event of death, immediately alert the police.
- Call the police
The second crucial step is to call the police. This is a legal requirement even if there are no serious injuries. This is important because a police report will be needed when processing insurance claims. The police will also be essential in ensuring you get the required assistance in case of any form of damage, personal injury to yourself and your passengers or worse, death. Make sure you note down the badge numbers and names of the police officers who arrive at the scene.
- Collect information
Another important step is capturing information of the third party involved in the accident. Make sure you take their contact information and any other information that you think is necessary. This could include their names, mobile numbers, driver’s license numbers, license plate, car make and model which will help make the process easier once you get to follow up. In as much as the officers who report at the scene will be tasked to collect this data, it is also important to do so yourself.
- Document the accident
Things happen quickly when an accident occurs and it is easy to forget details of the accident. Therefore, if you are not injured and no one at the scene is harmed, take down notes of an accurate account of what happened at the time of the accident and if you are not sure, do not make assumptions. It is important to take note of the condition of the cars involved in the accident and take clear photos of the same.
- Reach out to your insurance company
Another important step is to promptly inform your insurance company about the accident. Explain everything as best as you can and stick to the facts. Also, share the notes you captured and the reports from the police. It is also vital to mention any bodily injuries caused by the accident. It is important to call your insurer as soon as possible, perhaps even while at the scene. This way, they will advise you on what is needed and the next steps in filing your claim.
- Move your car from the scene
Finally, after the police have taken down necessary information, they will ask you to move the cars from the scene, possibly to the nearest police station. If the cars are not in drivable condition, you or the police will have to request a tow truck to tow them away. If your car is comprehensively insured, and depending on the specific benefits, your insurance company will reimburse the cost of towing up to an agreed limit. Otherwise, you will have to pay for the tow truck out of pocket.
We understand how stressful accidents can be but it is advisable to remain calm throughout the process so as to sort out any issues resulting from the accident effectively.