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Help! I've had a car traffic accident - what do I do?

Ivor presents a clear and easy guide to what to do if you're in a car accident. First, don’t panic! Here’s what you need to do:

Immediately after a traffic accident

  1. Stop!
    Switch off your engine. Put on your hazard lights. Find out if anyone is injured. Failing to stop after an accident, however minor, is an offence under the Road Traffic Act.
  2. Call the police and ambulance.
    If someone has been injured, call an ambulance and the police on 999. If everyone is ok but the road is blocked call 999 or 101 depending on how urgent it is to tell the police.
  3. Collect as many details as possible.
    You should collect as much information as possible, including:

  • Time and date
  • Names, addresses, telephone numbers of the other driver, injured people, and any witnesses
  • Full details of injuries and damage
  • Full details of the vehicles - registration number, make, colour etc.
  • Take photographs if you can - many mobile phones now have cameras
  • The exact circumstances and sequence of events, including speed, weather conditions etc.

You will need all this information for your insurance claim, and also if you make a personal injury claim.

What to do after your accident

  1. Contact your insurers as soon as possible
    Insurers often require you to get in touch within a certain timeframe. You should let them know what happened whether or not you plan to make a claim. They will tell you what to do next.
  2. Making a personal injury claim
    If you have suffered from minor whiplash through to serious injury, to make a personal injury claim, you need to be able to prove it was the other driver’s fault.

The claim will be made against their insurance, which every driver is legally required to have. If you’ve been injured and it wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t feel reluctant to claim – this is what the insurance is for. It won’t make up for your injury, but it can help cover costs or ease your suffering.

Read more about traffic injury claims, or contact us via our claims form if you have suffered an injury.