Accidents happen! Pellicer & Heredia have put together some points below, as guidance and prevention of further damage, on what steps you should follow when involved in a car accident in Spain
The procedure in the event of a road traffic accident depends on the severity of it, whether there are injuries, and if it is necessary for the police to be involved.
Immediate actions to be taken at the scene of the accident:
- Stop the car.
- Put on the reflective jacket before you leave the car. In Spain, this is obligatory. If it’s safe, it is advisable for passengers to stay in the car, but should they have to get out, it is advisable to wear a reflective jacket.
- Switch on the hazard warning lights, and place one warning triangle 50 metres in front, and the other 50 metres behind the vehicle.
- Unless the vehicles can’t be moved or there are people with serious injuries, vehicles must be pulled off the road as far as possible. If you can, move the vehicle after taking some photographic evidence to avoid any potential fines for obstructing traffic.
- The drivers involved are obliged to exchange information such as registration number, full name, address and details of the insurance company.
- Note down the license plate number of all vehicles and witnesses involved, as this could be vital if the case goes to court.
- Never sign any paperwork unless you fully understand and agree.
- If damage has been caused and the owner is not there, for example, a crash with a stationary car or into a property, report it at all times.
In the case of injuries or fatalities, call the police and ambulance: Guardia Civil 112 or Policia Local 092 from a mobile or landline (calls are free), or use one of the SOS telephones located on the motorway.
If the police attend the scene of an accident, a report will be written up. Additionally, both drivers are required to carry out a breathalyser test, and occasionally a drug test.
If no injuries have been caused and there is only a minor damage, there is no need for the police to be called.
The accident report
In the event of a small accident with no injuries, the parties involved ought to exchange details and make a declaration of events. This accident report has to be submitted to the insurance company. If the parties involved do not agree on a version of events, do not sign any documentation and contact the police for assistance.
The accident report includes the following details:
- Date and place of the accident (full address)
- Vehicle information: Make, model and vehicle registration numbers
- Drivers’ information: Full name, address, licence details (number, category, date and place of issue), NIE/DNI or passport number
- Details of insurance company and policy of drivers involved
- Witnesses: Name and Address
- Injuries (yes/no)
- Vehicle damage (yes/no)
- A sketch and explanation of the accident, including details of the damage caused
- Circumstances at time of accident, including: Weather conditions, speed and anything that might prove useful