When And How To Report A Car Accident – Road Traffic Accident Compensation Claims

By Daniel Williamson. Last updated on 16th December 2021. If you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident, you may be wondering how and what to do. Should you make your insurer aware? Should you contact the police? Being in a car crash is stressful enough without all the confusion of what to do afterwards. This guide will explore how to report a car accident, so you know exactly what to do.          

Report a car accident

Before reading this article, you may have some questions:

  • How long do you have to report a car accident to your insurance company?
  • How to get a police incident report in the UK?
  • What’s the police hit and run procedure in the UK?

Before the article begins, it’s important to note that the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that it is the duty of the driver to stop, give information or documents when involved in a road traffic accident involving others. Therefore, stopping the car is the first thing each party should do after a car accident. 

In order to make a claim for personal injury compensation, you must prove that you were not at fault (or only partially at fault) for the accident. This type of personal injury claim is called a Split Liability Claim. No one should go through this alone, so we want to be there for you throughout the process.

Get In Touch With Our Team 

After a car accident, it’s helpful to have some guidance from professionals. Our team of advisers is available 24/7 to offer free legal advice. You can give them a call on 020 3870 4868 to have a chat about how to report a road traffic accident.

Alternatively, you can start your claim online where an adviser will get back to you at your earliest convenience. If you’d like an instant response, you can chat with an adviser right now through our live chat pop-up box. A friendly adviser is ready to offer you free advice about how to report a road traffic accident.

An adviser can assess your case for free. If the case looks like it may be awarded compensation you could be connected with a personal injury solicitor. They can discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you and get your personal injury claim started. 

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About How To Report A Car Accident
  2. What Are Car Accidents?
  3. What Should You Do After A Car Accident?
  4. Who Do You Report A Car Accident To?
  5. Do You Have To Stop At The Scene Of A Car Accident?
  6. Car Accident Injury Claims Calculator
  7. How To Report A Car Accident To The Police
  8. When Should You Report A Damage Only Non-Stop Collision?
  9. Reporting A Car Accident To The MIB
  10. How Much Time Do I Have To Claim For A Car Accident?
  11. Car Accident Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis
  12. Other Information
  13. FAQs About Reporting Car Accidents

Everything You Need To Know About How To Report A Car Accident

This guide is going to discuss what car accidents are, including some UK statistics, and what to do after a car accident. Furthermore, it’ll tell you who you should report a car accident to and whether you have to stop at the scene of a car accident.

There will also be a personal injury claims calculator table to assess how much compensation people could receive for their injuries after a car accident. However, this table is purely for example purposes and figures may vary. Additionally, the guide will tell you when you should report a car accident to the police and when you should report damage only non-stop collision.

Moreover, there will be a section including information about reporting a car accident to the Motor Insurance Bureau, as well as information on the personal injury claims time limit. This time limit is important as if you leave it too long, you won’t be able to make a claim. Finally, there will be information regarding No Win No Fee agreements, and an FAQ section answering more common questions.

What Are Car Accidents?

Before examining how to report a car accident, let’s look at some car accident examples:

  • Accidents with two vehicles involved, such as a T-Bone.
  • Single-car accidents, for example, crashing into a wall.
  • Accidents with multiple vehicles involved.
  • Accidents involving pedestrians.

To qualify for making a personal injury claim, you must prove that:

  • You were owed a duty of care
  • The accident happened due to a breach of this duty of care
  • The accident caused you to suffer injuries.

Some injuries from a car accident you could claim for are:

  • Whiplash.
  • Broken bones.
  • Leg injuries.
  • Bruises and cuts.
  • Back injuries.
  • Lacerations.

There are specific car accidents that we should all be aware of. The first is a T-Bone, as mentioned above, that describes the front of one vehicle hitting the side of another. This usually happens when one vehicle makes a right turn without checking if any other vehicles are driving towards them.

Another type of car accident is a sideswipe, where the sides of two vehicles hit each other. This commonly occurs when two cars try to leave the same at once and collide. This can cause significant damage to both vehicles and injuries to the drivers/passengers inside.

Another road traffic accident is called a head-on collision. This is typically where two cars are driving on the same side of the road towards each other, usually because they are unaware they’re on the wrong side of the road. The cars then crash into the front of each other, which is extremely dangerous.

Car accidents are dangerous and scary, but what happens afterwards? Many people are unsure how to report a car accident and make a personal injury claim, so this guide is going to walk you through all the steps. 

Car Accident Statistics

Accidents of varying severity take place every year across the country. In the year ending June 2021, government statistics show there were an estimated 24,530 killed or seriously injured on the road. The figure marks a 6% decrease when compared with numbers from the year ending June 2020.

As you can see from the graph below, fatalities and casualties on the road have been on an overall decline since 2011. Meanwhile, traffic has been on the rise over this same 10-year period.

In 2020, all injuries and fatalities took a notable decline, along with traffic on the road. It is unclear as to whether this was due entirely to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s important to remember that these statistics are unlikely to be limited to cars only. There could be other vehicles such as trucks, lorries, and motorbikes included in the data.

You can see the full breakdown of these statistics below.

How to report a car accident statistics graph

How to report a car accident statistics graph

What Should You Do After A Car Accident?

After stopping your car, you should ensure you call for medical help if it’s needed to care for injuries or call the police if necessary. After ensuring each party is safe, each driver must exchange details (such as their name and address) to anybody who reasonably asks for it. You can take pictures of any damage to your vehicle and injuries sustained. This can later be used as evidence if you make a personal injury claim. 

You should also collect details from any witnesses who saw what happened, which can also be used as sufficient evidence. Importantly, you must remember not to admit guilt to any party. Although you may feel the accident is your fault at the moment, you could change your mind at a later date.

Our team of advisers are available 24/7 to offer you free legal advice regarding what you should do after a road traffic accident. You can get in touch with them today and they’d be more than happy to help.

Who Do You Report A Car Accident To?

If you have been involved in an accident, you may be wondering about reporting an accident in the UK. Many insurers ask that those involved in car accidents inform them even if they do not intend to make a claim. Moreover, if you do decide to make a personal injury claim in the future, it will be much more difficult if you didn’t report the accident to your insurance. 

All insurance policies are different. Most ask that you notify them of a car accident as soon as you reasonably can. Many insurance companies state that you should report the accident to them within 24 hours of the incident. You should make them aware of the time of the accident and the vehicles involved.

Do You Have To Stop At The Scene Of A Car Accident?

As mentioned in the first section of this guide, the Road Traffic Act 1988 concludes that, in most circumstances, the first thing each driver should do is stop their car. The circumstances that require you to stop your car are when:

  • Anybody other than the driver is injured.
  • Any vehicle other than their own is damaged.
  • An animal suffers an injury.
  • Property is damaged due to the accident.

In some circumstances, there is also an obligation to provide your own details. According to the government guidelines, you may have to provide your vehicle registration number, insurance details, name, address, and phone number at the time of the incident.

If you need more advice on the law surrounding road traffic accidents, contact our friendly team of advisers who can have a chat with you. Once they’ve found out more about your car accident, they will be in a better position to advise you. Our advisers are available 24/7 to offer free advice and help you with the personal injury claims process.

Car Accident Injury Claims Calculator 

This guide could include a personal injury claims calculator table, however, every car accident is unique so we don’t want to offer you inaccurate figures. Instead, we have compiled figures from the Judicial College Guidelines. However, please note that these figures are purely for example purposes and may vary.

Injury: Severity: Notes: Compensation:
Mental Anguish Severe Fear of impending death. £4,380
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe Permanent effects that prevent the individual from working or functioning the same as they did pre-trauma. £56,180 to £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderate The individual has largely recovered and any lasting effects are not significantly disabling. £7,680 to £21,730
Neck Injuries Severe Associated with incomplete paraplegia, where there is little to no movement in the neck. In the region of £139,210
Neck Injuries Moderate Fractures or dislocation causing severe immediate symptoms and may necessitate spinal fusion. £23,460 to £36,120
Back Injuries Severe Severe back pain and disability involving incomplete paralysis and impaired bladder, bowel, and sexual function. £85,470 to £151,070
Back Injuries Moderate Compression/crush fracture of the lumbar vertebrae with a substantial risk of Osteoarthritis. £26,050 to £36,390
Shoulder Injuries Severe Involving damage to the brachial plexus resulting in significant injury.. £18,020 to £45,070
Shoulder Injuries Moderate Frozen shoulder with limited movement and discomfort with symptoms persisting for around 2 years. £7,410 to £11,980
Injuries to the pelvis and hips Severe Dislocation of a low back joint and ruptured bladder, resulting in residual disabilities. £73,580 to £122,860
Injuries to the pelvis and hips Moderate Significant injury to the pelvis or hip but permanent disability is not major. £24,950 to £36,770

General damages compensate for the injury itself and the physical and mental effect it has on your life. The bracket you are awarded is based on how long your injury lasts, including any long-term effects.

Special damages compensate for the financial impact the injury has on your life, for example, loss of earnings due to taking sick leave from work. To qualify for special damages, you must provide evidence of your financial loss. This could be bus tickets, for example, to prove you travelled to and from medical appointments. Additionally, may have also experienced a loss of earnings because your injury has affected your ability to work.

How To Report A Car Accident To The Police

If your car is blocking the road, you should call the police to make them aware as this could be dangerous to other vehicles on the road. The police can then monitor the issue by cornering off the part of the road that your car is blocking off. 

Another reason you could call the police is if you believe the other party has caused the crash on purpose in order to claim compensation, or if the car failed to stop. If the car does fail to stop, try to get their vehicle registration number as they drive away. Furthermore, the police can be called if you suspect the other party may be involved with alcohol and/or drugs. Also if you fail to exchange contact details with others involved in the car accident you must report the accident to the police within 24hours. 

If it isn’t an emergency, you can call the police’s non-urgent number 101. You can also report a car accident to the police online through the police accident report form. For reporting a car accident to the police in Scotland, you can also use an online report form.

When Should You Report A Damage-Only Non-Stop Collision?

According to Cambridge police, there are two essential components you must meet to report a damage only non-stop collision:

  • You are a driver, pedestrian, or rider whose vehicle has been damaged (even if it’s parked) by someone who didn’t stop.
  • You have the other vehicle’s registration number.

However, you can also report a damage-only non-stop collision if you have CCTV footage and can inform the police how to obtain it. The CCTV must show clear footage of the incident and the driver’s registration number. 

You can also report this type of incident if you have independent witnesses who know the vehicle registration number and are willing to make a statement in court. 

Reporting A Car Accident To The MIB

The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) is a company that exists to compensate people who have been injured in a car accident with an uninsured/untraceable driver. 

Drivers are committing an offence if:

  • They drive with no driver’s license.
  • The vehicle they’re driving is stolen.
  • Their vehicle is uninsured.
  • They are driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Additionally, you may be able to claim through the MIB if you are reporting a hit and run in the UK. A hit and run is an instance where a vehicle has hit you and failed to stop, which is against the law. If you have experienced this, you can report the accident to the MIB 

How Much Time Do I Have To Claim For A Car Accident?

The personal injury claims time limit is generally three years. That’s three years from when the crash happens or from when you discover your injuries are due to the crash.

If you are under 18, the three-year time limit begins on your 18th birthday. However, if you’d like to begin the personal injury claim earlier, a friend/family member can act as a Litigation Friend to pursue the claim for you. Similarly, if you are incapacitated, the three-year time limit begins when you recover. However, someone you trust can also become a Litigation Friend.

The time limit is strict, so why wait? Contact us today to speak to an adviser about your road traffic accident. Help us help you. 

Car Accident Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis 

Now you know how to report a car accident, the next step is to start your claim. We strongly advise taking the step of seeking legal advice. Having an expert solicitor by your side, such as the ones on our panel, can increase your chances of success.

If you are worried about how much making a claim such as this will cost you, don’t worry. All of the lawyers on our panel operate on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that you won’t need to pay them unless they help you make a successful claim.  Even then, their costs are covered by a small percentage taken from your settlement.

If your claim is unsuccessful and you aren’t awarded compensation, you won’t have to pay them. It’s that simple.

You are allowed by law to make a claim without a solicitor, but we don’t advise this. Without a deal such as No Win No Fee in place, you could end up still having to pay expensive legal costs even if your claim is unsuccessful. This could leave you in financial distress.

To get started with your No Win No Fee claim, we suggest you contact our team of advisers by:

  • Calling them on 020 3870 4868. One of our 24/7 advisers will be happy to offer you free legal advice.
  • Starting your claim online. An adviser will get back to you at your earliest convenience.
  • Chat with an adviser through our live chat pop-up box for an instant reply.

 Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our advisers today. 

Other Information

Road Traffic Accident Solicitors: If you have suffered a road traffic accident due to someone else’s negligence, we’re here to help. Our guide talks you through the process of making a personal injury claim to receive compensation to get your life back on track.

What Happens if I am Hit by an Uninsured Driver? – Uninsured Motorist Compensation in the UK: Have you been hit by an uninsured driver? Our article discusses how to report a car accident and claim compensation if you’re hit by an uninsured driver.

How do I get more Money from an Injury Claim?: If you’d like to receive as much compensation as you can for your personal injury claim, this guide will explore how personal injury lawyers could help make that happen.

Osteoarthritis: If you have or may develop Osteoarthritis, this NHS guide includes the symptoms, causes, diagnoses, and treatment.

Whiplash: Whiplash injuries are common in road traffic accidents. This NHS article contains the symptoms and treatment. 

Back Pain: Are you suffering back pain due to a car accident? This NHS guide explores the treatments, causes, and prevention. 

Car Accident Claims Guide: This guide looks at car crash compensation in the UK.

FAQs Regarding How To Report A Car Accident

What do I do if I have a minor car accident?

If you have a minor car accident, you still may need to report it to your insurance company within 24 hours. Check your policy. Even if you don’t plan on making a personal injury claim, you may only realise you’ve suffered an injury later on and reporting it to your insurance company will help with any claims you may decide to make.

Do you have to report a minor car accident to the police UK?

If the car accident involves others and you do not exchange your details you must report it to the police within 24 hours. 

How long do you get to report a car accident?

If the car accident involves others and you do not exchange your details you must report it to the police within 24 hours. 

How do I write a car accident report?

To write a car accident report, you should include names, addresses, dates, vehicle registrations, and insurance details of all those involved. You should also include any pictures/CCTV footage you have to use as evidence.

Thank you for reading our guide on how to report a car accident.

Writer HL

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