By Joanne Jeffries. Updated 26th April 2022. Welcome to our car accident claim time limit guide to compensation. In it, we discuss how to report a road traffic accident, and explain what happens if there’s a failure to report an accident. We discuss what happens when the at fault party fails to make a car accident report. Further to this, we discuss whether you could have a hit and run claim if this happens to you. We also answer frequently asked questions, including ‘how long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance company in the UK?’
How to make a car accident report – How long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance company for UK accidents?
A road traffic accident (RTA) is never an expected turn of events. If incidents on the road unfold and an accident occurs, 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. It is important when reporting a car accident time limit is kept in mind. 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?
How This Car Accident Claim Time Limit Guide Could Help
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.
Select A Section
- A Guide To How Long You Have To Report A Car Accident In The UK
- What Is A Car Accident Report?
- Do You Always Need To Report A Car Accident?
- Who Do Car Accidents Need To Be Reported To?
- How Long Do I Have To Report My Car Accident?
- How Long Do You Have To Report A Car Accident To The Police?
- How Long Do I Have To Report A Car Accident To My Insurance Company In the UK?
- How Long Do I Have To Notify The Motor Insurers Bureau Of A Hit And Run?
- Circumstances In Which You Should Report Your Car Accident
- Steps To Take To Report A Car Accident
- Failure To Report A Car Accident
- Financial Loses You May Claim For
- Car Accident Claims Compensation Calculator
- Why Contact Accident Claims UK About The Reporting A Car Accident Time Limit?
- No Win No Fee Claims For Car Accidents And Injuries
- Start Your Claim And Ask About The Reporting A Car Accident Time Limit
- Further Information Relating To The Reporting A Car Accident Time Limit
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.
How long is the car accident claim time limit?
The car accident claim time limit, generally, is three years, meaning you could claim up to 3 years from the accident. However, some exceptions to this limitation period could apply, including when you’re claiming for a child or someone with diminished mental capacity.
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.
How long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance company for UK accidents – Your questions answered
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?
- How long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance company in the UK?
- 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 with the car accident claim time limit, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 in England and Wales. You’ll notice these could be different if you’re claiming for someone under the age of 18. You could have until their 18th birthday to launch a claim on their behalf. Otherwise they’d have 3 years from the date they turned 18 in most cases.
|Type of Time Limit||Relevant 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 Claim||3 Years (time limit varies)|
Unfortunately, there are cases where a road traffic accident could be a hit and run. The vast majority of 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.
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.
How Long Do I Have To Report A Car Accident To My Insurance Company In the UK?
If you have a road traffic accident that causes injury or damage you must report the road incident to the police within 24 hours of it happening. You must also exchange details with the other road user, such as your name, address and registration number.
If a driver leaves the scene without providing the necessary details, you should still report to the police.
Furthermore, even if you aren’t planning on claiming, you must report the incident to your insurance company.
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.
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 road traffic accident claims against your policy. If you’re asking ‘how long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance company in the UK?’, 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.
Now we have answered the question of ‘how long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance company in the UK?’, you might want to move on to the financial aspect of your claim. If you have been involved in a car accident and wish to make a claim within three years of the date of the accident or date of knowledge, 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.
In this section, we 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.
|Injury||The Severity of the Injury||Amount Awarded||Settlement|
|Neck Injury||Minor||£4,080 to £7,410||A neck injury of this nature is often expected to make a full recovery within one to two years’ time with very mild symptoms.|
|Neck Injury||Moderate||£23,460 to £36,120||A moderate neck injury is often expected to involve fractures and dislocations. In many cases, injuries of this nature could cause chronic conditions.|
|Neck Injury||Severe||In the region of £139,210||An 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 Injury||Minor||£2,300 to £7,410||An injury of this nature will take up to 3 months to 2 years to fully recovery (without surgery).|
|Back Injury||Moderate||£26,050 to £36,390||Cases 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 Injury||Severe||£85,470 to £151,070||An 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 Injury||Minor||£4,080 to £7,410||A 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 Injury||Severe||£18,020 to £45,070||A severe shoulder injury is often expected to cause serious brachial plexus injuries, causing significant neck and/or arm issues.|
|Scarring||Minor||£3,710 to £12,900||Scarring of this nature could be camouflaged or be very minimal.|
|Scarring||Severe||£27,940 to £91,350||Scarring 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.
If you choose to work with Accident Claims UK, we could connect those with a valid claim to a solicitor, regulated by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority, SRA, 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. We could assist even if you’re intending to make a hit and run claim because there’s been a failure to report an accident and the driver fled the scene.
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 within the three year limitation period. 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.
If you have been injured by a negligent third party and wish to make a claim, whether for criminal injury, medical negligence or injuries resulting from a car accident, 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.
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
FAQ About The Car Accident Claim Time Limit – How Long Do I Have To Report A Car Accident To My Insurance Company In The UK?
How long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance company in the UK?
We have previously mentioned earlier on in this guide, that it would be wise to check your policy or the insurer’s website. Sometimes they could have FAQs on their website, and one could be ‘How long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance company for UK claimants?’ If so, this could save you time in looking for your policy documentation. You should ensure that you report the accident, however.
What happens if there’s a failure to report an accident?
If you fail to report accidents on the road that cause personal injury or damage to property, this could be illegal.
Can I make a hit and run claim if the driver didn’t make a car accident report and I was injured?
A hit and run claim could be made through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau if you were injured in a hit and run accident.
However, if the negligent driver can be traced, you may not need to claim via the MIB.
What should be included in a car accident report?
Simply put, as much detail as possible. It would be a good idea to keep details for your own records. You could note down the position of vehicles, weather and road conditions, for example. It would be a good idea to try and obtain witness contact details too.
What should I do if I’m injured in a car accident within the car accident claim time limit?
Regardless of how long you have to claim for a car accident, it is often easier to make a claim if you do so relatively quickly. This way, you could preserve the evidence and it could be easy to gather. If you’re injured in a car accident, there are certain steps you could take to ensure you have collected the evidence you may need. These include:
- Taking photos of the injuries you’ve sustained and the scene of the accident – it could be really useful to your claim to take pictures of the positions of the vehicles involved in the accident. That way, it may be easier to work out which motorist was at fault. If you take photos of your injuries, this could be useful for a medical evidence point of view. However, you’d still need to see an independent medical expert to verify your injuries and get a medical report.
- Obtain driver, vehicle and insurance details from motorists involved – this is vital in finding them after the accident and starting your claim.
- Get details for any witnesses – should any passers-by or other motorists witness your accident, it could be vital to your case. These people could be called on to give witness statements, which could really help your case.
- Keep proof of costs – If you’ve sustained any costs, whether these are travel costs, medical expenses or care costs, you should keep evidence of these. Bills, bank statements and payslips that show loss of earnings could all be useful.
How common are road traffic accidents in the UK?
Below, you can see the DfT statistics relating to car accident injuries and other motor vehicle accident injuries in Great Britain in the year ending June 2021. You may note that there new times when people were more likely to be working from home during some of this year that should be taken into account when looking at these figures. You can still see that there are a significant number of accidents befalling road users.
Should I ask a local solicitor about reporting a car accident time limit restrictions?
When you’re looking for a solicitor to help you make a claim for compensation, you don’t have to ask a local solicitor about reporting a car accident time limit or anything else pertaining to your claim. You could use a solicitor that is based elsewhere in the UK to help you. This gives you a wider choice of law firms and solicitors to choose. However, this may mean your decision is harder to make. After all, if all of the solicitors appear to offer the same sort of services, how can you tell which is right for you.
Here at Accident Claims UK, we would advise you to carefully look into whether the solicitor you’re looking at has years of experience and is used to handling claims like yours. We would also urge you consider using solicitors that work on a no win no fee basis. We would be happy to assess your case for you and provide you with a relevant solicitor for your claim. We could help you no matter where in the country you are based.
How long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance company in the UK?
How long you have to report a car accident to an insurance company in the UK could vary depending on your policy. We would advise you to check your policy documentation. It could be wise to inform your insurer as soon as possible, even if you’re not sure whether the accident was not your fault. Additionally, you should report the accident to your insurance provider even if you’re not planning on claiming. Then, your insurer would be aware of the incident if the other insurer gets in touch. If you would like to learn more about claiming compensation after reporting the accident, please call our team.
How long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance company in the UK if I am incapacitated?
You may be wondering, if your injuries are severe, how long you would have to report a car accident to your insurance company in the UK. If at all possible, someone else could report the accident to your insurers if you are unable to do so. This could be a family member, for example. In cases where someone is seriously injured, the police could report the accident to the insurer.
I can’t find how long I have to report a car accident to my insurance company in the UK – what should I do?
If you cannot find how long you have to report a car accident to your insurance company in the UK on your policy documentation, we would advise you to check their website. Alternatively, you could call them to ask about this.
Final words on ‘How long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance company in the UK?
Thank you for reading our car accident claim time limit guide. How hopefully you’re aware of the reporting a car accident time limit. Hopefully, we’ve also now explained the answer to ‘how long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance company in the UK?’ too. Whether you’re intending on making a hit and run claim, or there was a failure to report an accident in which you were injured, please get in touch. We’d be happy to assist you.