What are the elements of a car accident?
An accident is defined in the dictionary as 'An unexpected and undesirable event, especially one resulting in damage or harm'. Car accidents can be caused in a variety of ways for example conditions of the road, mother nature or the carelessness of a driver involved. Even the best of drivers can be involved in car accidents as you can some times never predict the actions of the other drivers around you or even how the car may react to conditions on the road.
Who is involved in a car accident?
Normally a road traffic accident will involve two or more vehicles but some times include road side objects (lamp posts, road signs and fences or other road furniture or fixtures) or even pedestrians. Accidents can include different combinations, for example:
- Two cars
- Car and Motorbike
- Car and a pedestrian
- Car and a bicycle
- Car and fence, wall, road sign
Who will attend the scene of a car accident?
The people who will attend the scene of an accident will vary with each accident and the severity. For example in a minor bump between two cars causing minimal damage it would not normally require the involvement of the emergency services. But in a more serious road taffic accident the Police would attend. An ambulance may also attend to treat anybody involved who suffered personal injury in the accident or to transport them to a hospital. In very serious accidents the Fire service could also be called out to cut free anybody trapped by a vehicle involved. In a serious accident a road traffic police officer may visit and inspect the scene for evidence, for example debris and skid marks, to try to determine what caused the accident and who might be responsible for the accident.
Who is involved after the car accident?
After the accident the parties involved would need to contact their car insurance companies and file a claim to repair or replace their vehicles. If the accident involves two or more parties it is up to the party at faults insurer to pay for the repair of the non fault parties vehicle or property. If the party at fault only has what is known as "third party, fire and theft" insurance, their insurer will not payout for the repair or replacement of their own vehicle only for the damage they caused to others. Some insurance companies will provide the client with a hire car as a temporary replacement vehicle though some may charge extra for this. There may even be a personal injury claim by one or more of the parties involved if they suffered an injury as a result of the accident.
A vehicle repair centre may be involved after the accident to repair the damage to the vehicles involved. In minor accidents their may only be minimal damage to the vehicles that may just require the bonnet, bumper and or side panels replacing. Though in more serious accidents the vehicle could be deemed an insurance 'right off' and the vehicle would need to be replaced by the insurance company or paying out the value of the vehicle. But this may not reflect the safety or state of the vehicle as it could be just a case of costing more to repair than the vehicle is worth.
What should you do in a car accident?
If you are involved in an accident the first thing you should do, depending on the severity of the accident, is find a safe place to pull over, if anybody is injured you should contact the emergency services. Get as much information as possible from the other party, also collect contact details of anybody who witnessed the accident.
Details you should collect are:
- Name and address
- Telephone numbers
- Vehicle make and model
- Registration number
- Insurance provider
- Policy number