Being in a car accident is a scary experience whether you’re at fault or not at fault. In the shock of the moment, it can be hard to think about what you need to do. We’ve put together a list to help you after a minor car accident or a major car crash, including car park accidents.
- Make sure you stop immediately – The law in New Zealand states that regardless of whether you’re at fault in an accident or the not at fault driver, you need to stop right away. If you don’t stop after an accident, neglect to find out if someone has been injured, fail to assist people, or refuse to exchange information, the police can charge you for these offences.
You’re legally required to report a car accident to the police if someone has been injured or killed, or if property has been damaged.
- Stop in a safe place (if possible) – If your car is driveable and you’re able to move it, you should make sure it’s not in the way of any other cars and doesn’t become a hazard to other road users. You should turn off your engine and switch on your hazard lights if you’re unable to move your car. It’s also a good idea to put up a portable warning triangle if you have one. If your car is causing a road blockage, you should call the police to assist you.
- Check that nobody is injured – Depending on the severity of the accident, injuries could range from bruising and whiplash to more serious injuries. If there were people in the car with you or with the other driver, check that they’re okay too. If anybody is seriously injured, make sure you call 111 to request an ambulance and report the incident to the police.
- Avoid tampering with the accident scene – An accident scene can become a crime scene if someone is seriously injured or if somebody dies. It’s important not to move anything that could be considered evidence. Even if you’re the not at fault driver in an accident, you could still create issues for yourself if you tamper with accident scene.
- Stay calm – It’s natural for your emotions to be running high after a car accident, especially when it’s not your fault. But it’s important that you react in a calm way – aggressive behaviour is not only unhelpful but could also get you into legal trouble. If the other driver is being aggressive or refuses to exchange information with you, you should call the police.
- Exchange information– Once you’ve made sure that everyone is safe and uninjured, you need to exchange information. This is required by law, and you should involve the police if at any point the at fault driver refuses to cooperate. Make sure you get the following information from the at fault driver:
- Their name and surname
- Their contact number and residential address
- Their driver’s licence number and the state of issue
- Their car registration number and insurance information
- The make, model, and colour of their car.
You should also collect the accident details including the date and time it happened, and the address where it occurred.
- Take photos and record videos– Taking photos and recording videos is important to serve as evidence of the damage to your car. If you’re planning on claiming insurance when not at fault, you’ll need to have this type of evidence.
- Collect witness statements – If you are able to get the names and contact details of witnesses, this could make the insurance claim process for car accidents simpler for you.
- Make plans to have your car towed (if necessary) – If your car is undriveable or unroadworthy, you’ll need to arrange a towing service for your vehicle. If you’re the not at fault driver, Right2Drive can help by booking you an Uber at no cost to you.
- Call Right2Drive – If you were not at fault, Right2Drive may be able to provide you with an accident loan car where the costs are covered by the at fault party or their insurer. No insurance and not at fault? Right2Drive may still be able to assist you even if you don’t have car insurance. As long as you meet our eligibility criteria and you’re the not at fault driver, we could get you into a hire car after an accident.
At Right2Drive, we exist to uphold the rights of not at fault drivers in Australia and New Zealand. Get in touch with us to see if we can assist you with a not at fault rental car.