By Stephen Burke. Last Updated 8th September 2023. In this guide, we will advise you on what to do when you get into a car accident. Whether you were the driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian that was hit by a car, we will advise you on how to proceed safely after a car accident. We will also advise you about what to do if you have a car accident in the UK, about making an insurance claim for damages to your vehicle and claiming damages for your injuries if the accident was not your fault.
For further advice, call Accident Claims UK today on 0800 073 8801 about making a compensation claim for a car accident.
If you were injured in a car accident that was not your fault, we could provide you with a solicitor to handle your personal injury claim for compensation. Our panel of solicitors has up to thirty years of experience in handling claims for car accidents and will push to secure you the greatest amount of damages you could be eligible to claim.
To begin your No Win No Fee car accident compensation claim, call us today to speak to an advisor or use our online claims form to get in contact with us. In the meantime, please read on to learn more about what to do when you get into a car accident.
Select A Section
- A Guide To What To Do In A Car Accident
- What Are Car Accidents?
- What to do When You Get into a Car Accident
- Details To Exchange With Another Driver
- Information To Keep After Car Accidents
- What Is The Time Limit For Making A Car Accident Injury Claim?
- Car Accident Compensation Settlement Calculator
- No Win No Fee Car Crash Injury Claims
- Car Accident Victim Resources
Welcome to our guide on what to do when you get into a car accident.
Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience. However, responding in the right way can help everyone stay calm until help arrives. There are also steps you can take at the scene of the accident to collect evidence to support you, should you need to make an insurance claim or personal injury claim. We will look at them in more detail in this guide on what to do if you have a car crash at the side of the road and then afterwards if you intend on making a claim.
Remember, if you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be owed damages for your injuries. Call Accident Claims UK today, or fill out our online claims form. If we can see that you are eligible to claim compensation, we will assign a knowledgeable personal injury solicitor, authorised and regulated by the SRA to start working on your claim right away.
A car accident is when two cars collide together, a car collides with another type of vehicle, a car crashes into a static object such as a lamppost, or a car hits one or more pedestrians. How do car accidents happen? Car accidents can happen because a driver is distracted, for example, is using a mobile phone whilst driving. Another cause of car accidents is driving over the limit of alcohol or drug driving (which can include some prescription medication and illegal drugs). Some car crashes happen due to human error.
Unfortunately, car crashes are a major cause of injuries. These can be moderate injuries such as whiplash or a fractured bone, which are painful but will normally heal over time. However, car crashes can cause life-changing injuries such as paralysis or traumatic head injuries, with some even resulting in fatalities. Therefore, it’s important to know what to do when you get into a car accident. For more information, please read on.
Drivers Should Stop After A Car Accident
Drivers involved in road traffic accidents are legally obliged to stop after the accident in the nearest safe place. Driving away from an accident is known as a hit and run and is illegal. If you are hit by a driver that flees the scene, you should report this to the police. When you call the police, they will give you instructions on what to do. It would be wise to check for any injuries and note the driving conditions including the weather, lighting and position of the vehicles involved.
We will now look at what to do when you get into a car accident to protect yourself and others:
- Pull over and stop at the nearest safe place to do so. Driving away from an accident is an offence. It could cost you penalty points on your licence.
- Switch off your engine and turn on your hazard lights.
- Check to see if you or any other passengers in your vehicle are injured or if anyone else involved in the accident is injured. Safety is the number one priority, so if someone is seriously or critically injured, call an ambulance.
- Report the road traffic accident to the police.
- Exchange contact details and details of your insurance company with the other driver. Providing insurance information is important. Also, note the time and date of the accident.
- Record the make, model, colour and registration number of the other vehicle.
- Please speak to any witnesses and take note of their contact details including their phone numbers. They may be able to provide a statement that can be taken as evidence to support your claim.
- Take photographs of anything that could be considered evidence to support your claim and prove you’re not making a fraudulent insurance claim or crash for cash claim. This can include photographs of any injuries you have (if you wish to take photographs of another person’s injuries, ask their permission first). You can also photograph any damage to your vehicle or a hazard in the road that caused or contributed to the accident. Include a date stamp if possible.
- Contact your insurer to report the accident as soon as it is safe to do so. Many insurance providers require you to report the accident within 24 hours of the accident taking place.
Clients often ask us “what to do when you get into a car accident?”. One important step to do is to exchange information with the other driver. As a legal requirement, you must give them your name and address.
What insurance details do you need in an accident? This is the information you need to get from the other driver: their insurance provider, policy number, car make and model. It is also helpful to note the names and ages of any passengers travelling in the car.
How you communicate with the other driver after a car crash is very important. Car accidents are frightening and stressful experiences, even if no one is seriously injured. Therefore behaving calmly can help you communicate effectively and stop a stressful situation from escalating into an argument. You should also be careful not to do anything where you may unwittingly admit fault for the accident. Avoid saying “I’m sorry” or “that was my fault”, even if you feel shaken up, as this could be taken as an admission of liability for the accident.
What if I’m contacted by the other driver?
Similarly, if you are contacted by the other driver, their insurance provider or a solicitor representing them, do not sign documents you are given without first consulting your solicitor. Your solicitor will be able to make sure that you are not accepting responsibility for the accident and wavering your right to claim damages for your injuries or damages to the vehicle.
In some instances, a driver will admit fault of their own accord. If you are not at fault, you can claim compensation from the other driver’s insurance provider for your injuries and damages to your vehicle. If you are at fault, you will not be able to make a personal injury claim for any injuries you received in the crash. You will be able to make a claim for damage to your vehicle from your own insurance provider. This will affect your insurance premiums and your no claims bonus.
Further to what to do when you get into a car accident, it’s important to collect as much information as possible at the scene of a car accident, to help you if you need to claim from your insurance provider or a personal injury claim against the other driver.
What details do you need from those involved in an accident?
- Names and addresses
- Insurance providers and policy numbers
- Make, model, colour and registration number of any cars
What if the other driver withholds their details?
If the other driver refuses to give you information, this may mean that they are uninsured. You should report this action to the police. You can also collect information that may be used as evidence to determine which party was at fault or evidence of the damages or injuries caused. This can include:
- Photographic evidence
- Dashcam footage of the accident (dashcam footage can be used to determine which driver was at fault or if you were the victim of a car accident scam)
- The names and contact details of eyewitnesses
- An account you have written of the experience so that you can remember the details involved later on.
If you have valid grounds to make a personal injury claim for injuries caused by a car accident, then you should be aware that there is a time limit for starting such a claim. The Limitation Act 1980 establishes that there’s normally a three-year time limit for starting a personal injury claim following a road traffic accident. This time limit usually applies from the date your accident occurred.
The time limit can, however, work differently under some circumstances. For instance, if a child has been injured in a car accident, then the three-year time limit will not start until the day of their 18th birthday. A court-appointed litigation friend could make a claim on the child’s behalf before they turn 18. If this does not happen, however, then the injured party will have three years to start their own claim once they turn 18.
If the injured party lacks sufficient mental capacity to start a car accident claim, then the time limit will be suspended indefinitely. A litigation friend could make a claim on the injured person’s behalf. If this doesn’t happen and the injured party later regains sufficient mental capacity, then the three-year time limit will activate on the date of recovery.
To learn more about your eligibility to make a car accident injury claim, contact our advisors for free either online or on the phone today.
Those eligible to make a car accident injury claim may have questions about how much compensation they could receive if they succeed. How much you may be awarded for a successful claim is decided on a case-by-case basis. The total amount depends largely on what injuries you are claiming for and how severe they are deemed to be.
Following a successful claim, a payout for car accident injuries will include general damages, which compensates you for the pain and suffering caused by your injury. If you receive general damages, then you may also be awarded special damages. These damages cover for financial losses and expenses that can be directly linked to the injuries you’re claiming for. An example could be loss of income if your injuries have forced you to take unpaid time off work.
When valuing general damages, solicitors can use the guideline compensation brackets in the Judicial College Guidelines. The table includes some of these figures which correspond to different types of injuries.
This table should be used as a guide only. Please contact our advisors for free about how car injury claims are calculated. They may also provide a free valuation of your case.
|Type Of Injury
|£27,760 to £38,780
|Instances where residual disabilities to the claimant are less severe than higher categories. There may be a wide range of injuries included within the category such as crush injuries, fractures and compression of the spine.
|Severe Leg injuries
|£27,760 to £39,200
|Including either multiple or complicated fractures or crushing injuries to (generally) a single limb.
|Pelvis and hip injuries
|£26,590 to £39,170
|Those classed as moderate, at this level there may still be significant injuries to the hips and pelvis.
|£24,990 to £38,490
|Including injuries to the neck such as a dislocation or a fracture which caused immediate symptoms. Chronic conditions may also be included in this category. The claimant may be more vulnerable to further injury in the future.
|£13,740 to £24,990
|Including cases in which a wrenching type injury has happened to the soft tissues of the neck or disc lesions. There may be permanent pain, discomfort or stiffness.
|£7,890 to £13,740
|Including injuries to the neck which exacerbate or accelerate existing conditions in the neck. May also include moderate soft tissue injuries where the recovery may be over a longer period of time.
|£15,650 to £32,010
|Elbow injuries which might impair the elbows function but which does not need major surgery.
|£13,740 to £24,990
|Fractures to the metatarsal bones which may be displaced. May lead to continuing deformity and symptoms.
|One or multiple whiplash injuries
|Symptoms last 18-24 months.
|One or multiple whiplash injuries
|Symptoms last 15-18 months.
What Are The Whiplash Reforms?
The way certain road traffic accident claims are made in England and Wales was changed back in 2021 due to the implementation of the Whiplash Reform Programme. The changes affect drivers and passengers over the age of 18 with injuries valued at £5,000 or less. In these instances, the claim will need to be made in a different way.
Additionally, any whiplash injuries will be valued in accordance with the tariff outlined in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. Any additional injuries you’ve suffered that are not covered by the tariff will be valued traditionally. However, if you have any injuries that take the total value of your claim over £5,000, you will make your claim in the traditional way but whiplash injuries will still be valued as per the whiplash tariff.
For more information on compensation for car accident claims and how the whiplash reforms could influence your payout, please contact an advisor on the number above.
If you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you could be owed damages for your injuries, financial losses and damage to your vehicle. One of the key pieces of advice on what to do when you get into a car accident is to seek legal help.
However, if you feel doubtful about paying an upfront solicitors fee or being charged even when your case was lost, we can give you the option to make a no win no fee compensation claim. This means that instead of paying your solicitor’s fee up front, you will pay a success fee instead, which you will only be charged for on the condition that you win your compensation claim. This means that there is less financial risk involved for you. This is because your solicitor’s legal fees will be deducted from your overall compensation amount, making a no win no fee claim may be the more affordable option for you.
For free advice and to begin your claim, call us today on 0800 073 8801 to speak to an informed advisor. Alternatively, use our online claims form to reach us. If we can see that you have legitimate grounds to claim compensation, a solicitor will be assigned to work on your claim as soon as possible. Call today; we’re looking forward to hearing from you.
Here are some further resources that could provide you with useful information about what to do when you get into a car accident: