Following a road traffic accident, common themes arise. Liability, the extent of damage caused, injuries and hire costs are regularly disputed by the responsible party or their insurer. Taking the following steps immediately after an accident creates a paper trail and provides evidence that can avoid unnecessary obstacles.
Road traffic collision
- Check: are you, your passengers or any third party injured?
- Check your vehicle’s position on the road. Is it safe for you to get out?
- Take photographs of the vehicles in their post-accident positions. Only if it is if possible, and safe to do so.
- Record your surroundings: the location, road markings, traffic, weather, any parked vehicles nearby, and any witnesses.
- Record images/videos of the routes your vehicle and the third party vehicle were travelling on before the collision.
- Record the damage to your vehicle: where is it, what is the extent?
- Record the damage to third party vehicle: where is it, what’s the extent?
- Record the registration number of the third party vehicle.
- Obtain the details of the other driver. Provide your details.
- Check for any CCTV that could have captured the collision.
- Stop any potential witnesses. Ask for their details.
- Have you got a dash-cam? Download the video before it is deleted.
- If you can continue your journey in your vehicle, do so.
- If your vehicle cannot be driven, call for recovery.
- Call your insurer to report the collision. You should report the accident as soon as possible to your insurer.
- If you require to pay for further transport to complete your journey (i.e. taxi, bus, etc), ask for all receipts. Take photographs of these receipts.
- Call the police if required. Particularly if there is an injury to any party; the other driver does not provide their details; or the other driver drives away.
Whiplash and Road Traffic Injuries
- Check for injuries on yourself and any fellow passengers. If there are any injuries that require immediate medical attention, dial 999 immediately.
- Follow the above instructions for the road traffic collision.
- Typical whiplash injuries (i.e. soft tissue injuries) may not immediately occur. Be aware of any pain or discomfort that may develop throughout the coming days.
- If you feel you need to attend Accident and Emergency at any point, do so.
- If you are suffering from pain and discomfort and don’t want to attend Accident and Emergency, call your GP: tell them you were involved in a road traffic collision and describe your symptoms. Follow their instructions.
- If you have visible injuries, photograph them at regular intervals.
- If you require additional assistance from relatives, ask them to note the times they arrive and leave, the dates on which they assist you, and what tasks they assist you with. Note the timeline in hours/days/weeks they assist you.
- Always consider how to minimise your losses.
- Can your vehicle still be driven?
- Consider whether you need to hire a replacement vehicle: does your partner or parent have a vehicle you can use? Does your insurance company provide a suitable replacement vehicle as part of your policy?
- Can you afford to hire a replacement vehicle on your own?
- If yes, hire a like-for-like vehicle (don’t hire a Ferrari to replace a Ford Fiesta). This includes things like Bluetooth/Wifi connectivity, USB ports, sunroofs, etc. Hire a vehicle that most resembles your own damaged vehicle.
- If you cannot afford to hire a replacement vehicle, then your insurer may be able do this for you.
- If your car is being repaired, confirm its collection date. If this changes, inform your insurer by email.
- Collect your repaired vehicle on the collection date and return the hire vehicle on that same date.
Our personal injury lawyers have many years of experience helping people deal with the challenges that can result from a road traffic accident. We offer a free consultation to let you know about all of the options for getting compensation, care and rehabilitation as soon as possible. To arrange a free consultation, or to find out more about our no win no fee service, contact us online by clicking here or speak to a member of our specialist team on 0333 222 1855.