What to do in a minor car accident
Being involved in a car accident, even if it's a minor one, can be overwhelming. But remember, accidents happen – even to excellent drivers.
If you wind up in a car accident, it's important that you know what to do. This quick and easy guide can help you remember the steps to take. Of course, in the case of a serious accident, contact emergency services first on 000.
Breathe and assess the situation
Being in a car accident can be a shock to the system, and you may not be thinking clearly afterwards. That’s why it’s important to take a moment to breathe, try to stay calm, and assess the situation rationally. Avoid heated disputes and calmly cooperate with others involved.
Check everyone is okay
After taking a moment to calm your nerves, check that everyone is okay. If you or anyone else involved in the accident has been injured and needs medical attention, call for help immediately. If it’s safe to do so, you should move your car off the road and turn your hazard lights on. If it’s a serious crash and unsafe to move your car, causing a road blockage, call the police for assistance.
Exchange details with the other drivers
Getting the details of the other driver, or drivers, is important when it comes to making a claim if you’re insured. You’ll need to get their:
- phone number
- registration number, and
- insurance details.
If the other driver refuses to share these details with you and they were at fault, take note of their registration number, as you can make a report with the police if needed.
Determining who’s at fault can be tricky, so check out our guide for what to do if you believe you’re not at fault in a car accident.
It’s also a good idea to record the following information in case you need to refer to it later on, like when you make your claim.
- Time, date and location of the accident.
- Details of any witnesses, including names, addresses and phone numbers.
- Photos of the crash site and damage to cars or property.
You can record details like this, upload photos, make and track your claim directly from your mobile on the AAMI app.
Note that some insurance types require you to call us to make a claim. Learn what you can claim online here.
Report the accident to the police if required
Whether you’ll need to report a car accident to the police can depend on which state you live in. But no matter where you live, you should call for police help with your accident if:
- someone is trapped, or has become injured, after you have called an ambulance for emergency assistance first
- a driver involved in the accident fails to stop and exchange details
- a driver appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- the accident is causing a road blockage, and/or
- there are other hazards present, such as significant debris, structural damage to property, or leaking fluids.
Contact your insurer to make a claim
You should get in touch with your insurer as soon as you can following an accident. This will ensure the details are fresh in your memory, and make the claims process easier for both you and your insurer, so you can get back on the road safely as soon as possible.
To learn more about what to do when you make a claim with AAMI, read more below.
If you’re looking to make a claim, chances are you’re not having the best day.
We’re really are sorry to hear that. Being in a car bingle, no matter how big or small, is no fun.
But, know that making a claim online or with the AAMI App (if you have downloaded and registered) can be quick and easy. We’re here to support you through the process.
Let’s begin with claiming online. If you prefer to claim with the AAMI app, you can skip to the chapter: Making a claim with the AAMI App.
First, head to the AAMI claims page. This can be found at www.aami.com.au/claim.
Next, click “make a claim”, select motor if you’re claiming for your vehicle, select your Insurance policy type, and you’re away!
Now you’ll be asked a series of questions about yourself. Like your name, policy number, and the date the incident happened.
Your policy number can be found on your Certificate of Insurance that was sent to you when you first signed up for this insurance or on your renewal notice.
If you can’t find it, click “help” and we’ll help you track it down.
Select the policy you wish to claim on if you have more than one AAMI policy.
Next, you’ll need to answer some questions about what happened, including the time, location, and details of the incident, as well as any damage to your car.
Now it’s time to add in driver details about yourself. Like what type of licence you have, and if you consumed any alcohol, medication, or drugs prior to event.
You’ll also be asked to add in any other driver details involved in the event. Add in as much detail as you know about the other driver to help progress your claim.
In some scenarios, whether or not you will be charged an excess depends on whether you can provide the at-fault driver’s details: their full name, address, and vehicle registration. It can also be useful to get their phone number, licence number, insurance provider, insurance number, and policy details.
You’re almost done! Add in any photos, receipt or other documents to support your claim. Add in your contact details and when you’re ready, hit ‘lodge claim’.
Remember, if you get stuck along the way, you can click the green message icon in the bottom right-hand corner to start a live chat.
The steps to making a claim with the app aren’t too different from claiming online.
Check out the video “How to get started with the AAMI App” if you haven’t used the AAMI App before.
Enter the date the incident happened and select ‘Start Claim’ to begin. Confirm the correct policy you would like to claim on by selecting ‘Yes.’
Fill out details of what happened. Once you’re done, hit ‘Next’.
Fill out details of whoever was driving when the incident occurred. If you were the driver, click ‘Myself’. Some details will be pre-filled for you. Answer the remaining questions, then click ‘next’.
Add in as much detail as you know about other driver’s involved to help progress your claim.
If you have photos, receipts, or other documents to support your claim, add them in this step. Finally, add in your contact details. When ready, hit “lodge claim”.
If your claim requires a repairer, you’ll then be prompted to book a repair.
View the video “AAMI's claims process for repairing or replacing cars after an accident” for more details.
If you’re unsure why you’ve been charged an excess, or what to know more AAMI excess types, click this video.
- Car accident and not at fault – what’s next?
- What kind of car insurance do I need?
- Do CTP and MAI insurance cover vehicle damage?
Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as AAMI. Read the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination before buying this insurance. Go to aami.com.au for a copy.This information has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, and is of a general nature only, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it and make your own enquiries.