What to do immediately following a road traffic accident
- The first rule is Don’t Panic!
- Ensure everyone involved is safe.
- Switch off the engines of all vehicles involved.
- Activate hazard warning lights and alert oncoming traffic about the accident.
- In the event of serious injury, or obstruction, call the emergency services on 999 from a land line, or 112 from a mobile.
- Remain calm, do not admit liability or offer any form of settlement.
- By law the vehicles should not be moved. However if they are causing a serious hazard do so, but not until an independent witness has noted their position.
- After any form of accident you must, by law, STOP. Again by law, you must inform the police of the accident within 4 hours if there has been any injury. You are also bound by law to present your motor insurance details to the police within 7 days if requested. Leaving the scene of an accident is an offence and you could end up with being prosecuted and points on your licence if you do.
- Exchange details with the other parties involved. This will include: names and addresses of the drivers and owners of the vehicles, together with registration numbers of the vehicles and insurance details.
- Draw a sketch plan or take photos of the area, showing the road layout, the position of the vehicles involved, named of surrounding roads, traffic signs, road widths, markings and skid marks.
- If your vehicle needs moving, the attending police will arrange this and have it taken to a safe depot or garage.
What to do later, after the accident:
- Ensure that you contact your insurer or insurance broker and inform them immediately of the accident.
- Your insurance company or broker will handle all the arrangements to get your vehicle inspected by an assessor.
- If your insurance allows, your insurer will arrange for a replacement vehicle if yours is not road worthy.
- If the accident was not your fault, or any of your passengers were injured, it would be wise to contact a solicitor who will pursue a claim on your behalf.
- If you are deemed to have committed an offence that may or may not have caused the accident you may get prosecuted by the Police. If you are convicted you could end up with points on your licence and a fine (or worse).
- Ensure you have your insurance company or brokers details and contact numbers.