What to do?

How to do it?

  1. Ensure safety first:
  • Do not leave the scene of the accident.
  • Check for injuries: if a person has been injured call an ambulance. See Motor vehicle accident – Injury.
  • Do not move: do not move the motor vehicle, unless/until it is necessary. Hazard lights should be switched on to warn other drivers.
  • Call the police: in significant circumstances, such as major damage to the motor vehicles, injuries to the drivers/passengers, or death.
  • Do not throw away any potential evidence: evidence may include defective products, important documents, or torn or blood-stained clothing.
  • Do not admit fault: do not discuss whose fault the accident might be with anyone, but the police, own insurance or own attorney.
  • Co-operate: work with all emergency personnel and police who respond to the accident.
  1. Exchange information:
  • Obtain the following details of all the motor vehicles, their drivers and passengers involved in the accident:
    • names and surnames;
    • drivers licences;
    • identity numbers/passport numbers;
    • residential/work addresses;
    • contact details: cell, work number and e-mail;
    • description of the motor vehicle:  registration number, type, colour and model; and
    • employer’s details: if driving the employer’s motor vehicle; details of driver and employer.
  1. Obtain information:
  • Details of accident: write down the date, time and address/location of the accident, and the weather and road conditions when the accident occurred.
  • Details of witnesses: write down names, addresses, and contact details. If possible, obtain an affidavit from each witness about the accident.
  • Take photographs or videos of the following:
    • the scene of the accident, from all angles;
    • the surrounding area;
    • the injuries; and
    • any damage to the motor vehicle or other property.
  • Draw a sketch plan: draw a sketch of the scene of the accident and make sure that it contains a fixed point so that it can easily be traced.
  • Make a statement: the statement must contain the details of the accident and how the accident happened; to remind a person of the events surrounding the accident at a later stage.
  • Motor vehicle registration certificate: to confirm ownership of the motor vehicle.
  1. File a police report:
  • Report the accident at the nearest police station:
    • within 24 hours, if a person is killed or injured; or
    • on the first working day after the accident, if no person was killed or injured.
  • Details of police officer: write down the date and name of the police officer spoken to (at the scene of the accident or the police station).
  • Accident report: write down the accident report’s reference number and get a copy of the accident report, if possible.
  1. Phone insurance, if any:
  • Notify insurance or broker as soon as possible.
  • Obtain details of person notified: write down the date and name of the person spoken to and the reference number of the claim.
  1. Determine damages:
  • Determine the amount of damages to the motor vehicle: two or more repair/replacement quotes.
  • Determine the amount of other damages: reasonable tow, storage and renting costs.
  • If a person is insured s/he will have to claim damages from his/her insurance.
  • If a person is not insured, s/he will have to claim damages from the person who caused the damages to his/her motor vehicle.