No Car accidents are pleasant, weather its just a small bump or a major accident the whole process from start to finish can be stressful and cause a lot of inconvenience.
There are things that we can do to minimize the problems and ensure that the claim progresses in your favour.
On The Scene Of The Incident
Your first priority should be safety. If possible you should park your vehicle off the road to avoid any further collisions from traffic, where possible you should use your hazard lights and only get out of the car when its safe to do so. If the accident has caused injuries to a person then the emergency services should be notified immediately.
You should take notes at the scene, if you have a camera take pictures of the damage to all vehicles involved and note down details such as the time and date, the weather conditions, the driver name, make, model and color of the vehicles involved and the position of the vehicles.
Its also a good idea to note down the insurance company hes insured with as well as the vehicles VIN number in the event that the vehicle has cloned plates. Make sure that you also note the registration mark of the vehicles too and if possible draw a diagram and write down the events that took place.
Its important that you do this while the incident is fresh in your mind. You may remember small details that may become vital later on.
Make sure you ask around for witnesses, its very likely that other people saw the accident and could see, ideally anyone who is not related to you can support you and testify your case if it is taken to court later on.
Also check the area for CCTV camera’s if you can obtain the accident on tape this will strengthen your case and dismiss allegations that might be made against you later on.
Once You Get Home
Gather your notes and details together, you should get your story straight before you contact your insurance company. Let’s face it changing details on the incident the day after you submit your claim wont increase your credibility and may lead to further mitigations.
Here are a few things to think about… Was the vehicle(s) parked illegally or dangerously. Did the vehicle(s) involved have defects either to the car or tyres that could have lead to the accident. Did the vehicle break the speed limit for the road or break any rules under the road traffic act.
Take into consideration that you should never knowingly lie or give false information relating to the accident to help your case.
If your insurance company can find reasonable cause to disprove your claim then this would quite likely result in prosecution and/or refusal to process the claim any further (even if the accident was not your fault)
Your insurance company will normally send an assessor around to take pictures of the damage and the condition of your car. The assessors have been trained to look for anything unusual with your vehicle, e.g. wrong size tyres fitted.
They will normally look at the tyre depth of your tyres, the milage and registraton of your car, any previous damage to the vehicle will be notied and possibly photographed for further investigation.
In the event that your tyres are under the legal tred depth or you have the wrong size tires fitted for your car your insurance company are lickely to validate your claim. This may also be the case if your vehicle doesnt have a valid MOT certificate at the time or details on the DVLA’s database is incorrect.
This is why its crucial to make sure that these details are correct, quiet often insurance companies will look for ways that they can get out of paying your claim.
How Can I Find Out If The Other Parties Are Insured
Askmid.com is a website setup to allow members of the public to do a check on a vehicle using the vehicles registration.
AskMID will check for cars, bikes, vans, motorhomes and HGV’s…any vehicle that is legally required to have motor insurance in England scotland and wales can be checked in just a few minutes.
The website also allows you to check your own registration to see if it appears on the database. If it doesn’t and you do have valid insurance for the vehicle then you should contact your insurance company immediately – your insurance company are the only ones that can ammend these details on the database.
Its important to bear in mind that the website shows the current status of the vehicles insurance, if your have a blackberry, Iphone or smartphone that supports internet browsing then you can check the vehicles insurance status there and then.
The website only shows the vehicles insurance status and not the drivers so make sure you get the drivers details and a brief description, age, race, facial hair, native tongue, and anything that can distguish if you need to identify the driver at a later date. The website also shows the vehicles make and model so its a good idea to check that the information matches.
What Happens If The Other Party Is Not Insured
There is an organisation setup called the Motor Insurance Bureau which allows you to submit a claim where the driver of the accident had no insurance or was untraceable from his details.
This is a crucial step that gives drivers justice to get there vehicle repaired while avioding making a claim on there insurace policy. Uninsured drivers are a growing concern for drivers that stay road legal and cause each driver on average £30 more in insurance anually.
If you suspect that the other party doesn’t have motor insurance, contact your local police department, they should be able to check his vehicle over the phone and assist if the offending vehicle turns out not to be insured.
My Insurance Company Has Declared My Vehicle A Write Off
Your vehicle will be assessed on the damage and then the total amount to repair the vehicle will be weighed up against the vehicles market value. This can spell disaster if you have an old runner thats got high milage on the clock. normally if the repairs exceed 70% of the vehicles value they will declaire it a write off, but this exact figure does differ between insurance company’s
Every insurance company will differ but normally they will offer you a quote to write your car off. The first quote that they offer will always be the lowest regardless what they say over the phone.
You should ideally refuse this and push for a more higher value for your car, They may not sound very hopeful at this stage but more often that not they will raise the stakes and give you a higher value.
You should look up similar cars on Autotrader and compare cars of the same make and model against the milage to get an accurate quote on what you should receive for the market value of your car.
Some insurance companies will offer to write the car off but leave you with the vehicle instead of collecting this. If this is an option you should ring around your local scrap merchants and bargin for a higher price to scrap the car.
However this depends on how much your insurance company deduct from the check, if its a significant ammount then you might be better off just letting your insurance company take it away and use the cash to put towards a newer vehicle.