25 November 2018

What to do if you’re involved in a road traffic accident

Mark Robinson Partner & Head of Personal Injury

From small bumps to intense collisions, being involved in road traffic accidents can make things become hazy. When shock sets in, drivers and passengers may struggle to know how to act or what to do next.

Here are the main things you should do in the unfortunate case of an accident:


Making sure that those involved and other road users are safe is the key priority after an accident. Always call the police if the road is blocked, so they can take suitable steps to ensure others aren’t at risk. If no one is injured at the scene, make a note of this to shut down any false claims which could be made later.

There may be other reasons to call the police, for example if drivers involved leave the scene immediately, or if you suspect suspicious behaviour such as drink driving or a stolen vehicle. Within 24 hours, notify the police of the accident to avoid being fined or receiving points on your license.

If you can, take down the other vehicle's information; the make, model, colour and number plate. Be wary that on foreign vehicles with trailers, there may be different, additional number plates. Record information such as names of companies that appear on the side of vehicles too.

In addition to the above, note the time and date of the crash, the driving conditions and any specific damage to the vehicles. If there is another driver involved, try to find out whether they own the vehicle; if they don’t, ask for the registered owner’s information or company car details.

Be vigilant for crash-for-crash claimants, who arrange road traffic accidents to make fraudulent claims. Indications of these include unexpected braking, removed brake lights and questionable road rules such as flashing when they have the right of way.

Remember to try not to panic and don’t apologise or accept responsibility until you are certain of the cause. This may help protect you from liability if it wasn't your fault. If you can, fit your car with safety technology such as dashboard cameras to help provide evidence when making a claim.

If you’ve been affected by a road traffic accident, personal injury or false claim, our specialist team are here to guide you. For more information, contact our team here. Banner by Holly at St Peters Primary School.

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