I’ve had a car crash – what do I do now?

Coles Financial Services 28th Apr 2016 in Car insurance

If you’ve had a car accident, it’s normal to feel a little shaky or upset. Although it might be your first reaction, try not to panic! Minor accidents can be resolved easily. Take a deep breath and follow these steps:

Move to a safe place

First things first – are you okay? After a car accident, your first priority is to make sure you and those involved are safe. Do you or anyone else need medical attention? Are you in any immediate danger?

If someone has been hurt, call 000 and make sure you stay with the injured person until the police or ambulance arrives. Otherwise, if you think it’s safe, move your car away from traffic and switch on your hazard lights.

Call emergency services

Depending on the accident, you may need to call emergency services. This is required if:

  • A person is injured.
  • Police need to deal with traffic or other hazards.
  • The driver appears to be affected by drugs or alcohol.
  • A bus or truck needs to be towed away.
  • Property has been damaged including parked cars, houses, fences, gardens and street signage.

If none of these scenarios apply, you do not need to report the crash to the police.

Exchange details

The next step is to exchange details with the other driver or drivers involved. Here’s what you need to ask for:

  • Name, contact details and licence numbers of the owner and driver of the other vehicle.
  • Details of the other car: registration number, colour, make and model.
  • The other driver's insurance details.
  • Any other details that will help identify the vehicles.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, this information should be exchanged within 24 hours. Visual records of these details also helps; taking photos using either your phone or camera will help keep this information. If the driver does not provide their details, you will need to call the police.

Write an accident summary

To help clarify what happened, it’s a good idea to write a summary of the accident. Describe how the accident occurred including details like the date and time, where it took place and any weather details that might be relevant.

Photographing the scene of the accident is also useful, particularly if it has been a serious crash. If this is the case, try to find witnesses and record their details.

Call us

Whether it’s a small scratch or a total write-off, it’s important to report the accident straight away. You can call us 24 hours, 7 days a week to lodge a claim.

How we help

Our hassle-free claims process is designed to get you back on the road as soon as possible. All repair work is done by quality repairers so you can be confident that your vehicle is in tip-top shape. And any work completed by our Partner Repairer Network is guaranteed for life.

Terms & conditions

Coles Financial Services Pty Ltd (Coles FS) is an authorised representative of WFI Insurance Limited (ABN 24 000 036 279 AFSL 241461), the issuer of Coles Car Insurance and receives a commission for each policy sold and renewed. Any advice provided is of a general nature only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any advice you should consider its appropriateness. You should read the Product Disclosure Statement before deciding whether to acquire an insurance policy.

Tags: car insurance guide car crash