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What to do in a minor car accident

By  AAMI

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:

  • name
  • address
  • 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.

Discover 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.

What to do when you make a claim

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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.