Accident guide – the right thing to do after a car accident

A car accident is bad enough. There are a few things to keep in mind so that nothing else happens.

Accident guide - correct behavior after a car accident

Minor car accidents with sheet metal damage happen quickly in rush-hour traffic. Once you don’t stop in time or don’t look properly when taking evasive action – you’re in for a crash. Although no one is usually injured in such accidents. However, sheet metal damage to the car can quickly become expensive. Careful documentation of the accident is a prerequisite for compensation from the vehicle insurance company. What to do after a car accident, you can find out here.

Guide to accidents abroad

Car accidents abroad are always a particular nuisance. Because language barriers and bureaucratic hurdles hinder the handling of accidents. Here we explain what to do after a car accident abroad and which contact points can help you in the event of an accident abroad.

Guide to accidents on the highway

On the freeway the speed limits are high. If a car accident occurs, there are life-threatening risks for those involved and for the following traffic. Here you can find out how to behave correctly after a car accident.

Guide to wild accidents

Deer accidents are not uncommon in germany. They can have devastating consequences for humans and animals. We provide information on how to avoid accidents involving wild animals, which rules of conduct to observe and which damages are covered by comprehensive insurance.

Secure the scene of the accident

To avoid secondary accidents, securing the scene of the accident is a top priority. Draw the attention of other road users to the scene of the accident by using the warning lights switch on and on warning triangle set up. In urban areas, a distance of at least 50 meters is advisable. On country roads it is advisable to drive about 100 meters and on highways about. 150 to 400 meters.

Position the warning triangle so that it is clearly visible, even in places that are difficult to see, e.g. in the middle of the road. B. Before curves and crests. The triangle should always be placed at the side of the road or at the. Standing at the edge of the emergency lane. If you fail to secure the scene of the accident, resulting in secondary accidents, you could face a warning fine. If people are injured, you are guilty of negligent physical injury.

For their own safety, all parties involved in an accident should have a warning vest wear. because this makes them more conspicuous to the following traffic. By the way: since 2014 it is compulsory by law to have a warning vest in the car. If you do not have a warning vest with you, you may be fined.

In the event of accidents involving personal injury: provide first aid

Even in the case of accidents that seem harmless at first glance, you should clarify whether people have been injured. If so, you must provide first aid. This is a legal requirement in germany. Failure to render assistance counts as a criminal offense under §323 c stgb and can lead to a fine and even imprisonment. Don’t worry: first responders don’t have to fear being held liable for possible errors or consequential damages.

First aid already includes calling the emergency number (112). It is also necessary to carry out first aid measures independently.

When must the police be notified??

If you are injured in a traffic accident or if there is a lot of damage to property, you must notify the police. By the way, even if

  • The other party in the hit and run accident.
  • The other party gives the impression of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • The parties to the accident cannot agree.
  • A foreign vehicle cannot provide proof of insurance.
  • you cause an accident with a rental car.
  • you damage a vehicle while parking and the owner cannot be found. Attention: if you do not notify the police in this case, you will be committing a hit-and-run offence.

The situation is different in the case of more harmless accidents, so-called minor accidents. It is not absolutely necessary to call the police. The material damage caused is usually just scratches or scuffs in the car’s sheet metal. The police are not obliged to record the damage in such cases. It is therefore all the more important that you document the damage yourself. Only then will you be able to claim damages from the insurance company at a later date.

How to document the car accident correctly

For a complete documentation of the car accident, meaningful photos are required. On the other hand, a completed accident report required. In the case of major accidents involving property damage and personal injury, the police also take witness statements.

Photograph the scene of the accident

Important: be sure to take your own photos of the accident scene. Because the other party to the accident is not obliged to provide you with his photos. Photographs taken with a smartphone are sufficient. If you do not have a cell phone with a suitable camera, you should always have a small digital camera in your glove compartment. Make sure to include both the photograph the damage to your own car as well as the damage to the other party’s car. If available, a folding rule helps as a measure of the damage incurred.

Take pictures from the entire accident scene different perspectives. This includes traffic signs as well as photos of brake marks, snow marks, skid marks and glass splinters. In addition, the final position of the vehicles can be decisive for the subsequent reconstruction of the accident.

Fender bender on the car

Writing an accident report

The accident report is an important piece of evidence in clarifying the circumstances of the accident. It serves to reconstruct the sequence of the car accident. Even if the other party does not want to make an accident report, you should not do without it. The report serves as the basis for settling claims after the accident. Especially if the police were not notified.

These data must not be missing from an accident report:

  • Names and addresses of all parties involved
  • Place, date and time of the accident
  • Data on the vehicles involved in the accident
  • Description of the accident
  • Indication of visible damage
  • Sketch of the accident site
  • Insurance data of the parties involved
  • names and addresses of witnesses
  • Signatures of the parties involved in the accident

After a car accident, the parties involved are required by law to provide their exchange personal data. Anyone who leaves the scene of an accident without giving their personal details is guilty of a hit-and-run offence. The same applies if he gives false information. In the event of unauthorized departure from the scene of the accident, a call to the central call of car insurers by calling the telephone number 0800 25 026 00. If you have noted down the license plate number of the other party involved in the accident, you will be able to determine their liability insurance.

By the way: the signatures on the accident report only confirm that the data given are correct. They are not an admission of guilt. Until the accident has been fully reconstructed, you should not make an admission of guilt at the scene of the accident, either to the police or to the other party involved in the accident.

each party to the accident receives a signed copy of the accident report. Together with the photos, you can submit the report to your insurance company so that they can settle the claim. A complete and comprehensible report is important for the insurer. Subjective assessments or assumptions about the question of fault do not belong in an accident report.

As soon as the accident has been fully documented, you should immediately report it to your insurance company. This also applies if only minor damage has been caused.

When you should clear the scene of an accident

At minor damage you should clear the scene of the accident quickly. It is best to do this as soon as the accident sequence has been documented and the personal details have been exchanged. those who delay following traffic unnecessarily risk a fine. If there has been a lot of damage to property or people, you should not change the accident site until the police are on the scene.


The most important steps after a car accident are:

  • Secure the scene of the accident
  • Determination of personal injury
  • Detailed documentation of the accident

The latter is a prerequisite for receiving compensation from the vehicle insurance company. In the case of minor accidents, it is usually not necessary to notify the police.

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