What to do after a car accident

 Last updated on August 31, 2023
Being involved in a car accident is stressful. Know what to do next with these helpful tips.
Male and female drivers making a phone call and taking photographs after a vehicle collision
Car accidents are an unfortunate, yet common, part of life for drivers. Even if it’s relatively minor, any type of car accident can be a scary experience and it can be difficult to know what to do next. These steps will help you stay safe and gather the information you may need for your insurance claim.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, here’s what we suggest you do next:

  • Assess the situation. The number one priority is to make sure everyone involved in the accident is safe. Calmly check to see if anyone is injured or could be injured. Call the police and ambulance on triple zero (000) if someone has been hurt. If there’s major damage to either vehicle, or if you’re blocking the road, you’ll need police assistance too.
  • Move to safety. If your car is blocking the road, and you’re able to drive it a short distance, move it off the road to a safe location. Turn off your engine to reduce the risk of fire and turn on your hazard lights. If there’s debris on the road that could cause another accident, move it out of the way, but only if it’s safe to do so.
  • Gather details. To make an insurance claim, there’s a few details you’ll need to gather for your insurer:
    • Time and location of accident
    • The other driver’s name, license number, address and phone number
    • The other vehicle’s registration number and insurer.
    • Share your own contact, vehicle and insurer details with any other drivers involved in the accident too.
  • Speak to witnesses. If anyone witnessed the crash, it’s a good idea to approach them and ask for their contact details. This could be useful if the other party disputes your claim about how the accident happened, or who was at fault.
  • Take photos. Photos are the best way to paint an accurate picture of what happened and will help support your insurance claim. Take photos of the vehicle damage from different angles, any property damage, and the location of the accident for example, the intersection, traffic lights and nearby road signs.
  • Contact your insurer. Get in contact with your insurer as soon as you’re able to, so the details of the accident are fresh in your mind. Provide them with the information you’ve gathered at the scene, along with the photos you’ve taken so they can begin assessing your claim. The outcome of the claim will depend on the type of insurance you hold, whether or not the other driver is insured, and who was at fault.

Although having car insurance won’t prevent an accident, it may cover you financially if your vehicle is damaged or if you damage someone else’s vehicle or property.

There are two main types of car insurance:

Even if you’re an experienced driver, a car accident can happen. For reassurance when you’re on the road, make sure you’ve got the right cover in place. At Allianz, we have a range of car insurance options to choose from, plus you can start your claim online 24/7. Learn more about car insurance, or get a quote.

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 ("Allianz"). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. 

Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.

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