Being involved in a traffic collision is a stressful experience, but it’s vital to determine who the at fault party is as they will be liable for the costs of towing, repairs and a hire car. Determining fault will also have an impact if you make an insurance claim and might affect your entitlement to an accident replacement vehicle.
Remember that by law, you need to stop – in a safe place if possible – and offer assistance immediately after you’ve been involved in any type of road traffic collision. Firstly, make sure that every person who was involved is safe and uninjured. If your car is blocking the road or someone is seriously injured, you’ll need to call 111.
Were There Any Signs of Negligence or Traffic Violations?
In New Zealand, drivers need to follow New Zealand’s driving laws and take reasonable care when driving. Traffic violations occur when a driver doesn’t act in accordance with the driving laws, and negligent behaviour arises from a driver not taking reasonable care.
Take note of whether the other driver could have been negligent or violated the driving laws – for example, failing to stop at a red light, not obeying road signs, texting and driving, or speeding. When determining fault, traffic violations and signs of negligence are important.
Avoid Admitting Fault
To avoid difficulty when lodging a claim through your insurance company, it’s best not to admit fault at the time of the accident. In the aftermath of an accident, you may be in shock and might not be thinking straight. If the police attend the accident scene, let them assess fault while you get the facts you need after the accident.
Once you’ve taken steps to make sure everyone is safe and uninjured, you can work on gathering the evidence you need to determine fault. Keep in mind that unless the other party admits fault, your insurer will rely on evidence. The best course of action is to make sure you have all the details you need from the other driver at the scene of the crash. Avoid tampering with or moving anything because an accident with a serious injury or a death will become a crime scene.
Collect Evidence From The Other 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.
Record As Much As You Can About The Crash
- The date and time it happened
- The location or address where it occurred
- The speed you were driving and external factors, like the weather
- The actions you took, the actions the other driver took and how this resulted in an accident
- It may also be helpful to draw a diagram of what happened.
Take Plenty Of Photos And Get Video Recordings
An important part of collecting evidence is taking plenty of photos at the scene of the crash. You should try and get photos of the damage to your own car and the other car, the position of the cars, any road signs, the conditions on the road, any skid marks and anything else you think may be relevant to making an insurance claim. You should also try and take video footage, as well as get hold of footage from a dashcam or a nearby CCTV.
Collect Witness Statements
Although you may feel shaken up after being in an accident, it’s important to try and record the names, phone numbers and statements of as many witnesses as possible. Take note of whether several people are providing a similar account of what they saw and find out who they believe may be at fault and why. This will be useful for the insurance claim process later on.
If You’re Not At Fault, We Might Be Able To Help You
If you’ve been involved in a not at fault car accident, Right2Drive may be able to assist you with a like-for-like accident loan car. We exist to uphold your right to drive and have helped over 250,000 eligible drivers to get back on the road. With branches all across the country, we are able to provide excellent service and vehicles to thousands of not at fault drivers.