Jennifer Rowlinson | Trainee Solicitor

What to do if you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident

Here at Jackson Boyd, we know it is a stressful experience when you are involved in a vehicle accident. Individuals will experience an adrenaline rush and some may also experience shock symptoms. With a mixture of emotions, it is of no surprise that individuals forget what steps they need to follow or what information they need to obtain following a road traffic accident.

What is a Road Traffic Accident?

Road traffic accidents generally involve two vehicles. However, a road traffic accident can also include damage to property or hitting an animal.

Immediately after an accident

Immediately after an accident, you have to stop your vehicle and turn off the engine. The drivers of the vehicles have to identify themselves and provide personal details (name and address). You will also need to confirm whether the driver of the vehicle is also the owner. If they are not the owner, ask for details of the owner. You will also require insurance details (insurance provider and policy number). If there is no one else involved in the accident, you should leave a note of your details where the note can be seen.

If you do not stop at the scene of an accident, you must report the accident to the police within 24 hours. If you are reporting an incident to the police, the report must take place at the police station.

Failure to stop after the accident or failure to exchange or provide details is an offence under s.170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Both offences can result in up to 10 penalty points or a fine of up to £5000.00. The Court could also sentence an individual to up to six months in prison.

Additional Information you require:

  • After an accident, you should note the details of any passengers travelling in either vehicle.
  • It is important to obtain details of any injuries. If injuries are reported, you should phone the police and ambulance services. Even if there are no reported injuries, you should note this down in case an injury is reported at a later date.
  • You should also contact the police if a driver leaves the scene without providing details, if you think the accident was caused deliberately or if you suspect a driver does not have insurance or is driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol.
  • Avoid discussing fault for the accident until you are sure what happened. Avoid words which would suggest you are accepting fault or you are being apologetic.

Important Information to Record at the Scene

Once you have obtained personal and insurance details, you will then want to consider the accident scene. It is important to note what the driving conditions were like including the weather, lighting, and road quality.

You need to report details of any damage to the vehicles. It is important to remember the damage caused to the vehicles and the location of the damage. You will also want to note if there was any pre-existing damage to the vehicle.

It is also useful to have photographs of the accident location, the position of the cars involved after the collision and damage to the vehicles. It is important to note where exactly the accident happened particularly if the accident has occurred on a long stretch of road, e.g. motorway.

Make a Claim to your Insurance Provider

You should phone your insurance company as soon as possible. They will need the make, model, colour and registration number of both vehicles. You will want to confirm the name, address and insurance details of the other driver. It is also important to confirm details of any passengers and witnesses to the accident.

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident and are looking to make a claim please contact us online by clicking here or speak to a member of our specialist team on 0333 222 1855.

Jennifer Rowlinson

Jennifer Rowlinson

Personal Injury Team

“I enjoy building a rapport with my clients. I enjoy helping my clients through the court process and helping them to reach a conclusion with their case”

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