Crash! Boom! Bang! What now?

What you should remember when you’ve been in a car accident

If you are driving a vehicle regularly, the chances of being involved in an accident is higher than you might think, especially in South Africa with its unique challenges. Think loadshedding, broken traffic lights, potholes, informal pointsmen, road rage… You get the picture! If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in one, you can either be the cause of an accident or involved in an accident which was not your fault.

Vehicle accidents can be a very traumatic experience, especially if you are involved in one for the first time. There are important things that you have to keep in mind to ensure that you are safe, that you protect yourself legally, and that you get the necessary help needed after an accident. Unless you have been seriously injured, this comprehensive guide will provide you with the necessary steps you need to take when you are involved in a car accident:

  1. Stay Calm. It’s very easy and understandable to panic, but you need to keep your wits about you. Staying as calm as possible will help you think clearly and make the right decisions.
  2. Check for injuries. After you have composed yourself, check yourself and other passengers for any injuries. Provide help where needed if you can until emergency services arrive.
  3. Move to a safe location. If the accident is minor and you can move your vehicle, move it to a safe location away from the road. This will prevent further accidents, traffic jams, or further injuries. If there have been serious injuries or fatalities however, leave the vehicles involved as is until the SAPD has attended to the scene.
  4.  Be vigilant of anyone offering to tow your vehicle. When a contractor approaches you to tow your vehicle, make sure to get proper authorisation from your insurance company that they are, in fact, a contracted service provider. If not, you might be in for a hefty fee when you try to recover your vehicle from them. If you are not insured and your vehicle is damaged to such an extent that it needs to be towed, contract them to tow it to your premises, agreeing to a fee beforehand. If possible, record this conversation.
  5. Gather information and take pictures. 
    • While you wait for the SAPD to arrive, gather as much information as you can about the accident. This includes the other driver’s name, contact information, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information.
    • Take pictures of the scene, including both vehicles, any damage, and any injuries, as well as the position of the vehicles at the time of the accident and the area where it occurred. This will be helpful if you need to file a claim with your insurance company, or when the accident was not your fault and you need to recover your damages from the guilty party.
    • If the accident was not your fault, this information can be the difference between claiming your damages from the guilty party or not!
    • Also, obtaining the contact information of possible eyewitnesses can be crucial to proving your innocence at a later date.
  6. Very important: Be aware NOT to admit that you were at fault, even if you believe you might have been. Most people will probably say “sorry” after an accident. This doesn’t mean that they accept liability or admit guilt for the accident. When in shock, you will feel sorry about the entire incident. Leave this to your insurance company or agent who assists you afterwards. 
  7. Any injuries? Seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you or any passengers were injured in the accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. This will ensure that you receive the necessary treatment and that your injuries are documented. Keep a record of all medical bills, vehicle repair bills, and any other expenses related to the accident. This will help you document your damages and expenses.
  8. Contact your broker or insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. They will guide you through the process of filing a claim. If you do not have insurance coverage on your vehicle and the accident was not your fault, Google “” for agents to assist you with the recovery of monies from the guilty party. 
  9. Report the accident to the authorities within 24 hours. If the SAPD did not attend to the accident scene, ensure that you report it to the nearest police station within 24 hours from when the accident occurred. If this is not possible, you also have the option to report the accident online at the following link:

Vehicle accidents can be very traumatic and result in great financial losses. If it was not your fault, Excel Recovery Services and Phetolo ERS can assist to turn negative impacts into positive outcomes. Help is only a click away:

We’ve got your back!

4 thoughts on “Crash! Boom! Bang! What now?

  1. Howdy! This post could not be written any Ьetter! Reading throᥙgh
    this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about thiѕ.
    I am going to send this post to him. Pretty sure he will have
    a good read. Many thаnks for sharing!

    1. Hope your friend can use the information to assist if he/she was involved in a motor accident, or give advice to someone that needs it.

    1. Good day, Glad you enjoyed the article, the next one about to be published.
      Happy reading.

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