Would you know what to do if you were involved in a road traffic accident?
Let’s face it, nobody ever wants to find themselves involved in a road traffic accident, and as such it can be a stressful thing to even think about.
Still, with seemingly more vehicles on the road than ever, it is entirely possible that you may find yourself caught up in an accident or collision in one way or another, and so it’s important to know what steps need to be taken in order to keep yourself right.
What to do immediately after a car accident
- Stop the car
- Failing to stop the car after an accident, no matter how minor it may seem, is actually an offence under the Road Traffic Act
- Switch off the engine and turn on your hazard lights
- Check for any injuries to yourself or to your passengers, and call an ambulance if necessary.
- Injury permitting, move away from the collision site to somewhere safe.
- Call the police
- If you or anyone else has been injured in the accident then you should call the police on 999
- If you do not require an emergency response, then you should call the police using 101 instead.
- You should also call the police if the accident is blocking the road or if you suspect that someone involved has committed an offence, such as a ‘crash for cash’ scam whereby a driver deliberately causes an accident in order to log a fraudulent insurance claim.
- Collect the registration numbers of all vehicles involved, and take note of each vehicle’s colour, make, and model.
- Collect details from any other drivers, passengers, or witnesses.
- If at all possible, you should collect the names, addresses, and contact details from any other drivers, passengers, and witnesses involved in the crash.
- Ask other drivers involved for their insurance information, and try to establish whether or not they are the registered keeper of their vehicle. If they are not the registered keeper then be sure to find out who is and to make a note of their name and address.
- You should call 999 right away if someone leaves the scene of the accident without giving their details.
- Give your details to anyone else involved
- When you’re involved in a car accident you are obliged to give your name to anyone else involved.
- Avoid saying sorry or accepting blame for the accident until you know exactly what happened as admitting fault can be held against you later on.
- Additionally, car accidents should be reported to the police within 24 hours, and failure to do so can result in a fine, penalty points, or even disqualification.
- Take photos if necessary
- If necessary, take photos of; any damage to your car, the position of the car in the road, the junction where the accident occured, any obstructions to visibility, any injuries sustained by yourself or your passengers.
- Contact your insurance company
Contacting your insurance company
You should try to inform your insurance company about the car accident as soon as possible, regardless of whether or not you wish to make a claim. Failure to inform your insurer of the accident within the time period established by your insurance policy may invalidate your cover, leaving you to foot the bill yourself.
Be sure to check the wording of your specific insurance policy for details or timeframes for filing a claim, as they can vary between insurers.
What information do you need to give to the insurance company?
Your insurance company will most likely require the following information:
- Date and time of the collision
- Names and addresses of all the involved parties
- Details of any witnesses
That takes care of any damage to your vehicle, but what about you? You could be entitled to compensation for anything from personal injuries and loss of earnings sustained as a result of the accident, to assistance with recovering any other financial losses such as car hire or repairs.
How Wilson Nesbitt can help
Whether you are at fault or whether you are the innocent party in a road traffic accident we can help. We will be able to advise you on your entitlement to legal aid or arrange legal expenses insurance were we can. We understand that your case is unique and that is why you will be dealt with in a unique way.
We have vast experience in all aspects of Road Traffic Accident claims and can advise you on your entitlement to compensation for personal injury and any other losses including car hire, repairs, policy excess, depreciation, loss of earnings, physiotherapy and any other out of pocket expenses or losses incurred
If you have been involved in a Road Traffic Accident call us now free on 0800 840 9289 or send us your details.