Being involved in a car accident can be very upsetting and a frightening experience.
If you’ve been in an accident you should try and stay calm and follow our guidelines below on what to do and what information you need to collect.
If the accident is serious enough that you are unable to get out of the car or need urgent medical attention then the information needed below will usually be gathered by the police and emergency services on your behalf.
- Switch off your engine
- Turn on your hazard lights
- Take plenty of photos of the accident scene and surrounding location
- If either vehicle is causing an obstruction and can’t be moved then call the police
- Take the details of the third party and any witnesses
- Do not admit fault even if you think you were at fault
- If you or anyone else is injured you should call the emergency services
- Call your insurance company to explain what’s happened
- Contact Bott and Co who can arrange a replacement vehicle in most cases
Who Is Responsible?
You should never admit fault at the scene of an accident. Fault is determined by experts once all the circumstances and evidence has been gathered. Wrongly admitting fault at the scene, can affect your ability to recover costs and possible injury compensation from the third party.
In most cases a driver who hits the car in front will be held liable for the accident, even if the car in front brakes suddenly with no warning. There are exceptions to this rule and in situations where liability is not admitted, claims may end up going to court.
Should I Report A Car Accident To The Police?
You must always stop if you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident. Failure to do so at the scene of an accident is an offence and you could be prosecuted if you drive off without stopping. If the other person involved in the accident drives off without giving you any details then you should call the police and inform them.
You must always stop if you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident. Failure to do so at the scene of an accident is an offence and you could be prosecuted if you drive off without stopping.
If the accident is a minor bump or a scrape such as in a car park and no-one has been injured then you usually don’t need to inform the police, as long as you’ve exchanged contact and insurance details with the other party.
You should also report any collisions with certain animals. The list includes:
If you hit any other animal such as a cat, rabbit, badger or deer then reporting the collision is up to you but you have to make sure the animal is not injured or suffering. If this is the case or the animal is causing an obstruction then call the police to inform them using the non-emergency number which is 101 in England, Scotland and Wales.
Can I Claim For Any Injuries?
At Bott and Co we deal with many thousands of road traffic accident claims every year and our legal team have decades of experience in helping injured people through the aftermath of an accident. We approach our work in a sensitive and compassionate way and we make sure that we put you first and we never treat our clients like a case number.
Our legal team have decades of experience in helping injured people through the aftermath of an accident. We approach our work in a sensitive and compassionate way.
Call our legal team today on 01625 415850 and our specialist solicitors will let you know over the phone whether we think you have a claim for compensation and if we can take on your case under our no-win no-fee service.
If we take on your claim we can help with recovering compensation for your injuries, for rehabilitation and physiotherapy and also for any other out of pocket expenses such as loss of earnings, travel costs, and other medical expenses.
Exchanging Details And Other Information To Collect
It is important to gather a list of certain information following an accident. You must exchange contact details with the third party and it is an offence not to provide your details when requested or for the third party to fail to give you their information.
In addition you should make a note of the following, particularly if you later need to make a claim against the third party for personal injury or vehicle repair.
- Note down the time and date of the accident.
- Make a record of the weather and road conditions at the time
- Detail the directions of travel of all the vehicles involved
- Have a look at the condition of the other vehicle and check for bald tyres, broken headlights, or missing mirrors
- Take photos to show the damage to all the vehicles involved.
- If possible make a quick sketch of the approximate angle of collision and where the cars made contact with each other
- Record the registration numbers of the cars and their make, colour and models
- Have a look around the immediate vicinity for any pedestrian crossings, speed limit signs, traffic lights, or other road markings or signs.
- Get the names and contact information, and insurance details from those involved. If the other driver refuses to provide their details we can still trace the drivers in most cases as long as you have the registration number.
- Find out if there were any witnesses who are prepared to give you their name and contact information.
Uninsured or Illegal Drivers
In cases where the third party is uninsured or is otherwise driving illegally then they are unlikely to be able to make any claim against you, even if you caused the accident.
Examples of driving illegally include:
- Driving alone on a provisional licence.
- Driving without a licence, tax or insurance
- Driving while disqualified
- Driving a stolen vehicle
- Driving an unsafe vehicle or one without an MOT certificate
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you’ve been hit by another driver who fails to stop then we can still usually recover compensation for you through the Motor Insurers Bureau untraced driver scheme.
For free advice on whether you have a possible personal injury claim or if you want to find out how we can help with your vehicle repairs then call our specialist legal team today on 01625 415850 or use our online claim form and we’ll call you back.