This article has been provided special to TTG
You can be the most careful driver in the world but chances are at some point in your driving career you’ll be involved in an accident. No matter how much you keep your eyes on the road, human error and other drivers’ recklessness always pose a risk – however large or small.
And while the risk of an accident occurring should not stop you from getting out on the road, if you run a motor trade business such as a taxi firm it’s absolutely vital that your drivers know what to do in case of an accident. It’s also essential to have an adequate taxi insurance policy and know how it can help you if something happens.
What to do if you have an accident
If you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident, the law states that you MUST stop. Even if you don’t think any vehicles or people have been harmed, you are legally obliged to pull over and exchange insurance details. If someone is hurt and you’ve driven off, this is considered a crime and could jeopardise your future in the motor trade – if the person is seriously injured or killed, it could even land you with a hefty fine or imprisonment.
It’s also very important to remain calm – becoming angry or agitated will only make the situation more difficult for both parties and could make the other party involved less willing to cooperate with insurance matters. Losing your cool won’t help anyone so stay calm, polite and do everything you need to do to document the accident.
While you’re exchanging insurance details with the other party, it’s also important to assess the situation. Insurance claims don’t get solved overnight and your memory of the incident might fade so use your mobile phone or camera to take photographs of the vehicles at the scene and any injuries incurred. This will serve as useful evidence later on in the claims process.
One thing that it is advisable not to do is admit liability at the scene; this could have legal implications so it is best not to blame yourself publicly even if you are at fault.
However, you should definitely not lie, which could complicate the situation and get you into trouble. When speaking to your insurance company you must be completely honest and provide every necessary detail about the accident in order to ensure a fair resolution for both parties. Lying could also jeopardise your future working in the motor trade and get you fired if you are found out. If you were responsible for the accident, it’s best for you, your employer and the other party involved if you’re honest.
Dealing with liability issues
Sometimes a road traffic accident can lead to a dispute where neither party is willing to admit liability. In this case it is best to stay calm and fully cooperate with your insurer, who will work with both parties to determine who was responsible.
It’s important to clear your head and have a clear picture of what happened. You may have to tell the story several times so remember to be consistent and always tell the truth. Telling lies or bending the truth could be considered insurance fraud and could get you into serious trouble with the authorities. Honesty is the best policy and will get your claim processed as quickly and as fairly as possible.
Liam is an insurance journalist and has worked for several European newspapers. He is now a freelance writer for several insurance blogs and magazines. One of his biggest passions is travelling and road tripping around the UK.
Thanks for that rundown, Liam. In the UK, do you know if it’s common for two drivers (and their insurance companies) to work out fault without the police in minor accidents? Or must a policeman arrive at the accident each time?