Car accidents can happen out of the blue and can be very unsettling for those involved, even when they are minor incidents. When they happen, accidents can leave you shocked, shaken and confused. Thankfully, because car insurance in Ireland is mandatory, you should take a deep breath and calm yourself, because you are covered.
When you are involved in a car accident in Ireland, the law mandates that you do a few specific things to begin with. This is the case whether the accident is with another car, a pedestrian or an object along the road. There are also some things you should do to cover yourself and to keep your financial loss to the minimum.
First Things First
- Stay at the scene – Stop your car safely, turn off the engine and turn the hazard lights on. Do not leave the scene of the accident for any reason (this is vitally important). Remain there for a reasonable time. Not doing so is a criminal offence.
- Steady yourself – Take a moment to compose yourself. Even if the collision was small, you are likely to be in shock. Take a few deep breaths and remain calm.
- Check if everyone is okay – Check to ensure you and your passengers are safe. If anyone is hurt, call 112 or 999 for assistance.
- Do not admit fault – Do not admit fault, apologise or even discuss the accident as you may not know all of the facts of this incident at this point. So do not place the blame on yourself.
Report the Accident
Call the Gardai immediately and report if you believe that the other driver:
- Has deliberately caused the accident.
- Is under the influence of drugs/alcohol.
- Does not have car insurance in Ireland or license.
- Leaves the scene of the collision.
- If anyone is injured.
Collect Important Information
At the scene of the accident, be sure to collect and exchange some essential information such as:
- Your car insurance details and contact information with those involved in the accident.
- Share your personal details and address with the Garda on the scene.
- Ask whether the other driver is the registered owner of the car. If not, then ask who is.
Record Other Crucial Information
The more information that you gather, the better. Useful items to note include:
- The date and time of the accident.
- The make, model and registration number of the other motor vehicle/s involved in the collision.
- Names and addresses of witnesses if any.
- Details of any injuries sustained by people involved in the accident. If they say no one was hurt, be sure to take note of that too.
- If possible take photos
Inform your Insurance Company
The next logical thing to do is to inform your car insurance Ireland provider at the earliest opportunity. Provide all relevant information such as:
- Your policy number
- The name and contact information of the other driver.
- The registration numbers of the other car/s.
- The other driver’s insurance details.
It is good to be aware of all of the information above in case you happen to be in a car accident. Hopefully you will never need the above information but if you are in a car accident, then you will know exactly what to do… Safe Driving !