When you are involved in a car accident, or have fallen victim to a crime, the first thing you should do is call the police and other relevant services such as the ambulance.
Having a trained law enforcement officer on the scene can be an invaluable source of help, especially to ensure that all procedures are legal and effective. For example, he/she can facilitate the swapping of insurance details and the taking down of licence plate numbers.
If needed, the officer can provide or call for emergency medical care, preserve the accident scene and investigate and document the potential cause of the accident.
So what do you do if the police don’t arrive?
The first thing to do after an accident is to assess if anyone has been injured. Call the medics and assist where you can to keep everyone safe until help arrives.
Make yourself and the accident visible.
If the cars are now stranded in the middle of the road, either take your orange or red emergency triangle from the boot of your car and place it a few meters from the scene, facing oncoming traffic and signal any passers-by to ensure that they do not also drive into the scene.
If you were involved in a fender-bender, swap information with the other parties involved.
You will need the person’s name, address and cell phone number, as well as the name of their car insurance company and their policy number.
Also take down the name, address and telephone number of the insurance representative that you should contact about the accident.
It’s very important to take down the licence plate number of the other vehicle involved.
Ask to see documents from which you can copy this information, such as a driver’s licence and an insurance verification card.