By Olivia Brown. Last Updated 27th September 2021. 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.
How long after my accident could I make a claim?
If you’d like to claim compensation for personal injury, there are certain time limits within which you can do so. If you ignore the time limit for your case and try to begin legal proceedings after it has already expired, there’s a good chance you won’t be eligible to claim anymore. Therefore, it’s important that you don’t waste too much time deciding whether you’d like to seek compensation or not. In general, the personal injury claims time limit is up to 3 years after an accident.
If the victim was unable to begin their claim within this time limit, if they’re mentally incapacitated for example, then exceptions can be made in some cases. In this case, they may be granted an extension meaning they can begin their claim once they are recovered and able to make legal proceedings for themselves. Alternatively, they could have someone else claim on their behalf by acting as a litigation friend to them.
Select A Section
- A Guide To What To Do When You Get Into A Car Accident
- What Are Car Accidents?
- What to do When You Get into a Car Accident
- Details To Exchange With Another Driver
- What to do When You Get into a Car Accident: Who Should I Contact?
- Information To Keep After Car Accidents
- Car Accident And Road Safety Statistics
- Technology Which Can Reduce Car Accidents
- Car Accident Compensation Settlement Calculator – Updated August 2021
- Special Damages For Personal Injury Claimants
- No Win No Fee Car Crash Injury Claims
- Talk To Our Car Accident Claims Specialists When Wondering What to do When You Get into a Car Accident
- 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 fraudulemnt 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.
Another important piece of advice on what to do when you get into a car accident in the UK is to contact the relevant parties, which are typically as follows.
When Should You Contact The Emergency Services
If someone is seriously or critically injured in a road traffic accident, it is important to call an ambulance to be taken to the hospital right away for urgent treatment. To get an ambulance, dial 999. If someone has injuries that are not serious enough to require an ambulance, they can be taken to a hospital Accident & Emergency (A&E) department or GP surgery for treatment.
How To Report A Car Accident To The Police
According to the Road Traffic Act 1988, you must report your road traffic accident to the police within 24 hours if you do not give your details at the time of the accident. You can do so using the non-emergency number 101.
When To Notify Your Insurance Company
Many of our clients ask us, “What should I do if I get in a car accident? When should I contact my insurer”. We recommend contacting your insurance company as soon as it is safe to do so. Many insurance plans require you to contact your motor insurance provider within 24 hours or 72 hours after the accident. Should you tell your insurance company about a minor accident? Yes. The accident may seem minor to you, but you may need to make a claim or have the assistance of an insurance provider as the case proceeds.
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.
Before we continue looking at what to do when you get into a car accident, here are some road traffic accident statistics which illustrate the extent of the problem in the UK.
Unfortunately, many people are seriously injured or die due to car accidents every year. In the year 2020, there were 1,580 deaths on the road, a 14% decrease from 2019, albeit partly due to Coronavirus-related restrictions.
Although most people killed on the roads are car occupants, this may be because they are the more frequently used form of transport. Accounting for deaths and casualties per billion miles, cars rank behind pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
As well as what to do when you get into a car accident, think about reducing them. Drivers must rely on themselves to drive in a manner that is safe and proactively avoids accidents. However, technology is also available to help prevent car accidents. This includes:
- Autonomous emergency braking, which breaks when a sensor detects an accident.
- Adaptive cruise control resets the speed according to the speed of the traffic ahead.
- Dashboard cameras, which record footage from the road, help against fraudulent claims.
- A lane departure warning system, which warns you if your car is swerving out of its lane.
If you make a successful personal injury claim for car accident injuries, you will be awarded two heads of claim. These are general damages and special damages.
General damages compensate the claimant for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity they experienced due to being injured. You can estimate how much compensation you could receive for your injuries using our personal injury compensation calculator. The amounts of compensation quoted are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines, which provides materials for training Britain’s judges.
Please note that the calculator table does not estimate how much compensation you could receive for special damages, however, as this is simply a case of recovering lost funds.
|Type Of Injury||Seriousness||Settlement||Comments|
|Neck injury||Moderate (1)||£23,460 to £36,120||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.|
|Neck injury||Moderate (2)||£12,900 to £23,460||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.|
|Neck injury||Moderate (3)||£7,410 to £12,900||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.|
|Back injury||Moderate (1)||£26,050 to £36,390||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.|
|Back injury||Moderate (2)||£11,730 to £26,050||Frequently seen back injuries such as those disturbing the ligaments or muscles and which could either accelerate, exacerbate or prolong existing injuries.|
|Fracture of Clavicle||n/a||£4,830 to £11,490||How much you could claim depends on how serious the fracture is and how serious the disability is.|
|Pelvis and hip injuries||Moderate||£11,820 to £36,770||Those classed as moderate, at this level there may still be significant injuries to the hips and pelvis.|
|Elbow injuries||Less Severe Injuries||£14,690 to £30,050||Elbow injuries which might impair the elbows function but which does not need major surgery.|
|Leg injuries||Moderate||£26,050 to £36,790||Including either multiple or complicated fractures or crushing injuries to (generally) a single limb.|
|Foot injuries||Moderate||£12,900 to £23,460||Fractures to the metatarsal bones which may be displaced. May lead to continuing deformity and symptoms.|
Of course, these are approximations. Call Accident Claims UK today, and we can accurately estimate how much compensation you could be owed.
Successful claimants are also awarded special damages. This is compensation to reimburse them for any expenses incurred as a result of being injured. For example, if the claimant became disabled due to a serious car accident, they could claim medical expenses such as physiotherapy, claim for any home adaptations, mobility equipment or at-home care they may need. They could also pay for travel expenses or loss of income. Claiming special damages is a key part of what to do when you get into a car accident, so it’s important that you keep the importance of retaining evidence in mind if you find yourself in this situation.
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.
Call Accident Claims UK today to see if you are eligible to make a no win no fee claim for road traffic accident compensation.
Talk To Our Car Accident Claims Specialists When Wondering What to do When You Get into a Car Accident
If you have legitimate grounds to make a compensation claim for injuries you sustained due to a car accident that was not your fault, Accident Claims UK can provide you with a knowledgeable lawyer to handle your claim. Our panel of solicitors has up to thirty years of experience in handling compensation claims and will push to win you the greatest amount of damages that you can claim for your injuries. So, what to do when you get into a car accident? You should speak to us.
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:
More Guides From Accident Claims UK
What To Do When You Get Into A Car Accident FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding what to do when you get into a car accident:
What should I do if I get into a car accident?
The immediate priority is to ensure that you and any victims are safe. If they require medical treatment, calling for an ambulance ASAP is very important. You must also get the names, addresses, telephone numbers and licence numbers of all involved. And make sure to get the licence plates for each vehicle too.
Will my insurance provider pay if I’m at fault?
The insurance company is going to help cover the expenses regardless of responsibility. There may be deductions depending on where liability lies, but insurance covers the scenario of a crash nonetheless.
How long could a car accident stay on record?
There is a minimum of 3 years where a car accident is likely to stay on your record. This is for your insurers to have enough time to recognise that your accident may hopefully be a one-off. Should accidents become more regular, insurance companies will notice this, and this could impact future rates.
Does my insurance go up if someone hits me?
In most situations, hit-and-run collisions don’t increase your car insurance rates. It’s only if incidents become too frequent that insurance rates might rise. Bear in mind that your insurance is there to assist you financially in the event that a crash does happen.
Do I need a lawyer?
By law, there is no requirement to have legal representation in order to make a claim. However, a lawyer’s expertise can help you reach the maximum compensation you deserve for your suffering, easing the claims process and allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Where can I find a lawyer?
Rather than trawling your local high street for a decent law firm, why not get in touch with Accident Claims from the comfort of your own home? We have a panel of specialist solicitors that can get to work on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis if they believe you could be entitled to compensation. What’s more, you’ll get regular updates in whatever form you prefer, whether that be over the phone, via email or face-to-face.
What is No Win No Fee?
Some lawyers offer to handle claims on a No Win No Fee basis, which means that you can access their services without the usual financial risk involved in the claims process. Some benefits of claiming with this type of agreement include:
- You won’t be charged any upfront or hidden fees
- No legal fees will be taken if your lawyer doesn’t win your claim for you
How can I contact Accident Claims?
Either call the number at the top of this page to get through to one of our specialist advisors or return to our contact section earlier in this guide for some alternative options.
What to do when you get into a car accident and suffer a low-value injury?
The way in which your car accident injury claim would be handled may differ depending on whether you’ve suffered a low-value injury. The Whiplash Claims Reform Programme came into force in May 2021, and it means you may have to use the government’s portal to make your claim. The difference with these types of claims, for soft tissue injuries including whiplash up to the value of £5,000, is that there is now a ban on settling claims without medical evidence. In addition, you would be compensated according to the government’s tariff. In addition, you could not collect legal costs from the defendant.
Could a solicitor help with low-value claims?
We could still help with such claims. All you need to do is get in touch with our team for a free case assessment. We could tell you whether your injury could be considered low value and how we could help with such claims.
How many car accidents were there in 2020?
If you’re wondering how common car accidents are, we could look at the government’s statistics. While figures are affected by the 4 months of lockdowns in 2020, you can see that car occupants were the most commonly injured parties on UK roads. Pedestrians are the second most common road users to be injured, followed by motorcyclists and cyclists, whose figures are quite similar. You can see how these figures compare with the previous years’ figures below.
Thank you for reading our guide about what to do when you get into a car accident.