Reporting A Car Accident Time Limit UK

Car accident

Reporting A Car Accident Time Limit UK

A road traffic accident (RTA) is never an expected turn of events. If incidents on the road unfold, they could cause physical injury, psychological trauma, and in some cases, financial loss. Although there are situations where an accident could be a blameless event, there are also cases where a negligent third party could be at fault. If third parties were to neglect their duty of care and cause a road-related incident where avoidable harm was suffered, you could have grounds to make a personal injury claim for compensation. If that is the case and you’ve been involved in an incident, you could be questioning how to report a car accident to both the police and insurance companies and is there a time limit?

Throughout this online guide, it shall provide relevant information regarding the claims process and discuss how reporting a car accident is extremely important. If at any point when reading this online guide, you have confusion or additional questions, why not contact a member of our team? Our knowledgeable team of advisers are available 24 hours a day, 7 day days a week, and they can offer free legal advice of no obligation. So if you have been injured by a third party and wish to make a claim, contact us today.

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A Guide To How Long You Have To Report A Car Accident In The UK

In the moments where a negligent third party causes an accident on the road, it can be a stressful and daunting experience. If someone is to blame for the road traffic accident that has caused you harm, you might consider a claim for compensation. Although you could have valid grounds to make a personal injury claim, there are elements to the claims process that could affect your ability to claim, like personal injury claims time limits. Within this online guide, it shall provide relevant information about the claims process and discuss how long you have to report a car accident in the UK. This online guide aims to answer relevant questions, such as:

  • What is a personal injury claim?
  • What is a No Win No Fee Agreement?
  • When should I begin my claim?
  • What is a personal injury claims time limit and could it affect my claim?

If you have been involved in a road-related incident and wish to make a claim, please read through the rest of this guide. If you have any additional questions after reading this guide, please speak to a member of our team.

What Is A Car Accident Report?

A car accident report is something that is created by the police after a road traffic accident has been reported to them. The report will detail the incident in greater length, outing various vital details. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident, a car accident report is often created and used for insurance claims or civil proceedings. Most people can acquire a copy of the report, which will take up to 12 weeks.

Do You Always Need To Report A Car Accident?

Those that have been involved in a road traffic accident might be questioning whether a road-related incident needs to be reported? Under the Road Traffic Act of 1988, it outlines that those driving a mortised vehicle that has been involved in an accident must stop and provide their registration, name, and contact information. However, in minor cases where minimal damages (such as scratches or dents) have been caused, both drivers could agree no significant harm was caused an amicably move forward. But in severe cases, drivers are obligated to provide contact information, registration details, and report the incident.

Who Do Car Accidents Need To Be Reported To?

Being involved in a car accident can be a stressful and upsetting experience, and it is more than understandable to have questions. If you have been involved in an accident, you might be questioning how soon to report a car accident and who do I report to? Within the following sections, this guide shall discuss how to report an incident on the road and what parties need to be informed.

How Long Do I Have To Report My Car Accident?

Even if you are involved in an accident that isn’t your fault, it is always advised that you contact the police and your insurance company. The time frame in which you must contact the police could differ from your insurance company, depending on certain circumstances will determine whether you need to report it to the police and in what time frame. However, it is always advised that you research into your insurance policy and double-check your insurer’s expectations after a road-related incident.

How Long Do I Have To Report A Car Accident To The Police?

Not all accidents will need reporting to the police however in cases of hit and runs, as well as drunk driving accidents and accidents involving injury may all need to be reported to the police. If you have personally been involved in an incident and didn’t exchange contact information at the scene of the incident, the police should be notified within 24 hours after the accident.

How Long Do I Have To Report A Car Accidents To My Insurance Provider?

If you have been involved in an incident that has caused damage to your vehicle, depending on the circumstances and your insurance policy requirements will determine whether you need to report it to your insurance and in what time frame. There is no universal time limit to report road accidents to insurance companies. In many cases, there isn’t a designated time limit in which you must report the incident to your insurer. However, a responsible time frame is always advised, and it is still important to check the terms and conditions of your policy to ensure there isn’t a time frame or regulations within the small print. A failure to comply with any rules within your policy can give your insurance company the right to legally refuse to cover you in the future.

To illustrate a clearer understanding, we have provided a small table that outlines the different time limits to report a car accident.

Type of Time LimitRelevant Time Limit
Time Limit for Reporting a Car Accident to the Police without getting the contact details of another driver or not giving your own details. 24 Hours
Time Limit for Reporting a Car Accident to an Insurance Company Dependent On Your Documentation (Subject to change with different insurance companies)
Time Limit to Start a Claim3 Years (time limit varies)

How Long Do I Have To Notify The Motor Insurers Bureau Of A Hit And Run?

Unfortunately, there are cases where a road traffic accident could be a hit and run. Claims for hit and runs are often made through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB). The MIB which deals with accidents that have consequently been caused by uninsured drivers or drivers who have not stayed at the scene of an accident was founded in 1946 and compensates victims of accidents when there is no other way to receive damages.

Circumstances In Which You Should Report Your Car Accident

There is a standard in which all vehicles on the road must meet to ensure safety has been achieved. For example, all vehicles on the road must be registered with the DVLA, have up to date vehicle tax, have a current MOT certificate, and be roadworthy. However, there are various circumstances in which another road user could neglect their road safety obligation, making them potentially liable.

If you have a road traffic accident and do not exchange details at the scene of the accident then you must report the road incident to the police within 24 hours of it happening. If a driver leaves the scene without providing the necessary details that the law requires drivers to exchange a police report may be needed. Some car insurance companies advise that even if you are not thinking about making a claim you should report the accident to them also. Please check individual policies for confirmation.

Steps To Take To Report A Car Accident

If you have been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, Citizen’s Advice has provided some steps you could take:

  • Do not admit liability at the scene
  • Exchange details with the other drivers involved. If someone refuses to share their details, write down their registration number.
  • Seek medical attention
  • Take photographs
  • Call the local police station and inform them of the incident
  • Call your insurance company

If you have been involved in an incident with an uninsured driver, please click here to read more.

Failure To Report A Car Accident

Depending on what your insurance policy says will ultimately reveal whether you need to report accidents to your insurance company even if you do not intend to make a claim against your policy. As previously stated there is no one time limit for reporting the accident to your insurance. Again a look at your policy may provide the answer you are looking for.

Financial Loses You May Claim For

If you have been involved in a car accident and wish to make a claim, there are two categories of damages which could be evaluated and taken into consideration. These are known as General Damages and Special Damages. If you have experienced physical injury or psychological trauma after an accident, this will fall under the category of General Damages. Special Damages refer to the loss of finances after an accident, and in this section, it shall outline various ways a road traffic accident could cause a financial loss.

  • The Cost of Care – If a road traffic accident renders you unable to look after yourself, you might require additional support through a carer. If that is the case, the cost of care could be factored into a claim for compensation.
  • Lowered Earning Potential – If a road traffic accident caused by the negligence of another affects your future career prospects, it could be taken into consideration.
  • Loss of Earnings – After an accident, you might require time off from work to heal and recover. During this period, you could potentially lose out on income if your employer doesn’t have a sick pay scheme set in place. If that is the case, the loss of earnings could be factored into a personal injury claim.
  • Medical Treatment – If you require medical treatment after an accident that isn’t covered by the NHS, you may have to personally fund your treatment. When making a claim for compensation, the cost of medical treatment could be factored into the claim.

Car Accident Claims Compensation Calculator

In this section, it shall discuss General Damages in greater length and provider a clearer understanding. When making a claim for compensation, General Damages will be awarded to those that have endured a physical injury or psychological trauma after an accident. A medical assessment will be required to make a claim in relation to General Damages, as it will outline the severity of the injuries you’ve endured and will be used as evidence throughout the claims process.

Located below, we have provided a personal injury claims calculator which offers those seeking compensation for General Damages estimated amounts. The amounts listed within the table are based on the Judicial College Guidelines, which directly applies to English/Welsh personal injury claims. The figures provided are for example purposes only, and it is worth remembering that every claim is unique to the circumstances at hand. Therefore, the compensation you could be entitled to may differ from the figures that are listed within the table.

InjuryThe Severity of the InjuryAmount AwardedSettlement
Neck InjuryMinor£4,080 to £7,410A neck injury of this nature is often expected to make a full recovery within one to two years’ time with very mild symptoms.
Neck InjuryModerate£23,460 to £36,120A moderate neck injury is often expected to involve fractures and dislocations. In many cases, injuries of this nature could cause chronic conditions.
Neck InjurySevereIn the region of £139,210An injury of this nature is expected to cause life-altering health repercussions such as paraplegia or permanent spastic quadriparesis. The injured individual will suffer from headaches and will have little to no movement in the neck.
Back InjuryMinor£2,300 to £7,410An injury of this nature will take up to 3 months to 2 years to fully recovery (without surgery).
Back InjuryModerate£26,050 to £36,390Cases of this nature are often expected to involve serious back implications, causing pain and discomfort. A case of a compression/crush fracture of the lumbar vertebrae where there is a substantial risk of osteoarthritis and constant pain and discomfort.
Back InjurySevere£85,470 to £151,070An injury of this nature of involved damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots, causing serious consequences not normally found in cases of back injury. It could cause impairment of the bladder, bowels, and sexual function.
Shoulder InjuryMinor£4,080 to £7,410A minor shoulder injury is often able to heal without the requirement of surgery. In many cases, an injury of this nature should heal within 2 years’ time.
Shoulder InjurySevere£18,020 to £45,070A severe shoulder injury is often expected to cause serious brachial plexus injuries, causing significant neck and/or arm issues.
ScarringMinor£3,710 to £12,900Scarring of this nature could be camouflaged or be very minimal.
ScarringSevere£27,940 to £91,350Scarring of this nature is expected to have a serious impact on the mental well-being of the individual.

If you have any questions regarding General Damages or the personal injury claims calculator, please contact a member of our team.

Why Contact Accident Claims UK?

If you choose to work with Accident Claims UK, we could connect those with a valid claim to a solicitor from our panel. We work with a distinguished panel of solicitors that are well versed in personal injury law, and have up to 30 years’ experience. So if you have been affected by a negligent road user, contact a member of our team today.

No Win No Fee Claims For Car Accidents And Injuries

If you chose to work with Accident Claims UK, a solicitor from our panel could offer to handle your claim under a No Win No Fee agreement. A financial arrangement of this nature may also be referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a mutual understanding between a personal injury solicitor and you, the claimant.  If a solicitor takes on a claim under an agreement of this nature and has a successful outcome, you will be required to pay a fee for the services that have been provided. This fee would be taken from the awarded settlement and is capped by law at 25%. If a solicitor is unsuccessful at winning an awarded settlement, you will not be required to cover their legal fees.

For more information regarding No Win No Fee agreements, please speak to a member of our team.

Start Your Claim

If you have been injured by a negligent third party and wish to make a claim, why not contact a member of our team? Here at Accident Claims UK, our phone lines are free to call, and our knowledgeable team of advisers are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They can offer free legal advice of no obligation and answer any queries that you might have. Alternatively, you could enquire online through our website, and a member of our team will contact you at a later date.

The number to call is 0800 073 8801.

To enquire online, please click here.

Further Information

This online guide should have provided relevant information. To support this guide, we have provided some additional materials that could be of use.

Bus Crash Claim – Could I Make A Claim After Being Injured In A Bus Crash?

Taxi Accident Claim – Does A Taxi Owe Me A Duty Of Care?

Head Injury Claim – Could I Make A Claim In Connection To Head Trauma? 

NHS – First AID

Article by MB

Edited by MM.