If You Had an Accident – How Would You Prove What Happened?
However careful you are on the road, sometimes accidents happen. Nearly all car, bike and motorcycle accidents will require evidence to prove liability, even if it is obvious how the accident happened and who was involved. If the accident was not your fault, insurance companies will require strong evidence to support your argument.
How would you prove what happened?
Accidents Involving Injuries
In the case of a major accident, the police will be present on the scene to manage traffic and divert pedestrians. A police officer will collect details of the accident at the scene so that they create an official report of what happened. You can request a copy of this report once it has been filed, and this can be used to support your case.
If the accident resulted in injury but was not considered a major accident, you will be able to submit a report to the police after the accident has taken place, and the accident will be investigated in due course. While a police report will be vital to an insurance company, it is still only a report, and only those present at the scene of the accident know exactly what happened at the time.
Accidents without Injuries
There is usually no need to involve the police in a smaller accident which does not result in injury. As long as you have exchanged contact and registration details from the other person involved, there is no need for police investigation, unless you think you have been given false information or the person was driving illegally.
If the other driver does not stop at the scene of the accident, you can contact the police within 24 hours; with a registration number or description of the vehicle, they may be able to prosecute. However, this can only happen if there is enough evidence.
Your Word Against Theirs
Without strong evidence to prove what has happened in an accident, it is a case of “your word against theirs”. If both parties are offering different accounts of what happened and there were no witnesses at the scene, how do insurance companies know who is telling the accurate story?
In order to save time and money on court hearings, insurance companies will settle a knock-for-knock agreement, which means that regardless of liability, each insurer will pay for the losses sustained by its policyholder. Alternatively, a 50/50 settlement might be agreed where each party “claims” equal responsibility for the accident. Without dash cam footage, these agreements can be the easiest way out for the insurance companies, but frustrating if you were not at fault.
So, how does this affect your insurance? As with any claim, you will lose your insurance policy excess if you cannot prove the accident was not your fault. Perhaps you might be thinking, “No problem, £50 excess is not going to break the bank!” However, now that your insurance company knows about your accident, there will be repercussions when it comes to renewing your policy. Even if you have no claims protection, the premium will be higher in the first place and when the no claims discount is applied, you will still have more to pay.
Dashboard Camera Footage
Thankfully, there is a successful way to reveal the true story. Footage from a dashboard camera will show plainly what has happened in a vehicle accident, leaving almost no room for doubt. Even if you were not involved in an accident yourself, you can offer dash cam footage to the police to help piece together a third party accident. Not only is this incredibly useful evidence for a case, but you could also get paid for providing the footage.
A dash cam will always be recording while you are driving, so while you cannot predict when an accident might happen, the camera always has you covered. For more information about how dashboard cameras work or to purchase one for your vehicle, feel free to explore our website or get in touch with our friendly team.