At some point in your driving life, some idiot will probably crash into you. It's not something you are
prepared for and few people really know what to do or what information to take. However, the quality
of the information you take down can seriously affect how easy your claim is through their insurance.
This is what happens when a foreign lorry driver changes lanes without looking.
Being sideswiped by a lorry is no fun at all in a smart. Trying to get accurate details from a foreign driver with
"no English" was even worse. I didn't expect him to have insurance and I certainly didn't expect to come away
with "no fault" on my record. However, I did win and it was all down to the accuracy of my information.
Print out this PDF and keep a couple safe in your car.
1 pen (2 if possible) in a sensible colour.
Camera or mobile phone with camera.
Your driver's licence (you should always have it with you).
Your insurance details (company and phone number).
Dictaphone or mobile phone with voice recording app.
In-car camera with suitable memory card.
Having an accident is stressful. All planning and normal brain activity stops.
You flap around like an idiot and forget to do the most basic of tasks.
That's why I created the PDF linked above. It lays out all the important info you need to acquire.
It also gives you pointers on what to do to make your collected information the best it can be.
To save you having to download the 2 page PDF to have a look, here's a screen shot.
Fuck yeah but they crashed into you so it's no holds barred.
Of course you shouldn't photograph or record people without their consent. Not telling them could harm
your evidence if it goes to court but it's very unlikely to go that far if the other party was in the wrong.
You do not need to inform the other party that you have an in-car camera. It is up to you if you do
tell them, however, I would recommend you keep it between you and your insurance company. Reason being,
people think that letting the other party know that it is all on camera will make them admit fault, however,
what it normally does is make them change their story to account for their actions that caused the accident.
If you don't tell them about the camera, they will give their official statement to the insurance company
and then you can prove that they lied, giving them no chance to change their story.
You shouldn't really ask to see their driving licence unless you are police. They don't have to give it to you.
But if they do, it was their decision to do so. You also don't have the authority to photograph it without
their say so but it makes your life easier to have their details for your own personal use.
Don't lie about anything that happened to make it seem more their fault.
Don't make a whiplash claim just for the money as these falso claims are increasing our insurance costs.
Don't accept any liability unless you were both to blame and don't
accept a 50/50 blame split from the insurer if you are not to blame.
I hope the claim goes well for you.
Remember, if the insurance company write your car off (costs more to repair than the car is worth),
you are entitled to buy the car from them. Depending on the catagory of damage you can either
attempt to fix it yourself, get a cheaper quote for repairs or sell the car in parts.
It is normally the cost of labour that makes the cost of repair too high.
The cost of the written off car will be easily covered by the amount of money you can make selling the parts.
If you buy the car and repair it, when you come to sell it, you are legally obligated to tell people that
the car was a "Category C" (Cat C) write off. This will obviously affect the asking price of the car.
Cat A - Burnt out, flood damaged or severely damaged cars. Cannot legally be repaired or sold for parts.
Cars can also be Cat A if a death inside the vehicle led to contamination such as human tissue.
Cat B - Severe structural damage. Cannot be repaired, can only be sold as parts.
Cat C - Car is repairable but not economic to do so. Can be repaired or sold as parts.
Cat D - Slight damage but written off due to parts being impossible to get, excessive storage or recovery costs.
Cars can also be Cat A if they are recovered after the insurance paid out after a vehicle theft.
These can be repaired and sold for parts.