What Should I Do If I'm In A Road Accident?


The Law Of… Knowing What To Do In A Road Accident

Although the number of reported road accidents has thankfully fallen, road use has increased over the past 10 years. Despite the decline, it pays to know exactly what to do if the unthinkable happens and you are in a collision.

Road Traffic Accident Claims Partner, Susan Vanden, shares the basic steps to follow in the event of a road accident.

More Vehicles Than Ever On The Roads

Over the course of the past 60 years, road use has increased dramatically, with 7 times more traffic on British roads now than there was back then. This reached a record high in the year ending March 2017, with a 3.2% increase in vehicle miles travelled from the previous peak 10 years prior.

If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a road accident, what should you do?

What Do I Do Immediately After A Road Accident?

If somebody other than yourself sustains an injury, or somebody else's property is damaged in a road accident, follow these basic steps:

  • Stop your vehicle once it is safe to do so
  • Give your name, address, registration and insurance details to all of the people who are involved in the accident
  • If you are not the owner of the vehicle, you must also give the name and address of whoever it belongs to.

What If I Can't Stop Following A Road Accident?

If you cannot stop at the time of the accident, you must provide your details to the police within 24 hours of the incident. Failure to do so can result in criminal action being taken against you.

I Have Given My Details, What Details Do I Need From The Other Drivers In A Road Accident?

Once you have given your details, you should:

  • Record the names and addresses of all the other drivers involved in the incident
  • Write down the makes, models, colours and registration numbers of any other vehicles involved in the road accident.

What Other Information Do I Need Following A Road Accident?

Once all the associated parties have given their details and you have a record of the vehicles involved, you need to:

  • Establish who was responsible for the accident and if liability is in in dispute do not admit to anything that could prejudice any subsequent legal claim, such as tiredness, unfamiliarity with area or in-car distractions
  • Make a note of what damage has been caused and collect the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses
  • Make a rough sketch of the scene of the road accident, including any junctions, traffic lights and the positions of the vehicles involved
  • Take (time stamped) photographs, if possible, of the vehicles before they are moved, along with any damaged items, such as clothing and the contents of the boot.

Once I Have Collected All The Road Accident Information, What Should I Do?

Once you have exchanged details and have all the relevant information, you should:

  • Write down exactly what happened. This is best done as soon as it is possible and safe to do so, ensuring the road accident is fresh in your mind and you recall the necessary details that might be required at a later date
  • Notify your car insurance provider of the incident as soon as you can
  • Get any injuries you have sustained checked out by a medical professional. Where road accidents are concerned, symptoms may take up to 48 hours to present and internal injuries are not always evident. Therefore it is always advisable to seek medical advice.

Susan comments:

"Although we welcome the fact that the number of reported road accidents has fallen over the past 10 years, there are still far too many. Particularly when they result in serious injury or fatality."

"If you are in an accident, it is best to be aware of what you need to do so as to avoid any complications further along the line. This guide to what to do in a road accident gives you the basics and is intended for information purposes only."

"The information is legally correct as of the time of publishing, but any subsequent changes to the requirements may not be included. It should not be applied to a specific set of circumstances or relied upon in any resulting legal case without first seeking professional advice."

If you were injured in a road accident and require legal advice, contact Simpson Millar today.

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