What Should I Do If I Get Into A Car Accident?

Although we all like to hope we’ll never be in a car accident, they do regularly occur. Car and road accidents happen every day. But do you really know what to do if one was to happen to you. The aim of this guide is to provide information and guidance about what to do in the event you are involved in a car accident.                                                                               

What should I do when I get into a car accident

What should I do when I get into a car accident?

You may be wondering ‘What should I do when I get into a car accident?’ This guide will also look at what to do after a car accident if you want to make a claim for a personal injury. 

If you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident, you may have questions: 

  • What to do after an accident that is not your fault?
  • What should you do after a minor car accident?
  • Do you have to report a minor car accident to the police in the UK?

This guide aims to answer your question to ensure you’re prepared in case you ever find yourself in a car accident. It’s important to note that if you want to file a personal injury claim, you must not have been at fault for the accident (or at least partially at fault).

If you launch a personal injury claim for being partially at fault, it’s called a split liability claim. This is where you split the liability between yourself and the other party. Sometimes it’s  50/50, but other times one party will be more at fault than the other.

Get In Touch With Our Team 

This article aims to help you understand more about what to do after a car accident, and our advisers are available 24/7 on 020 3870 4868 to offer more advice. Our advisers are there to learn more about your situation so they can help you. If the advisors can see that you have a valid case they could connect you with a personal injury solicitor from our panel 

Alternatively, you can begin your claim online where an adviser will get back to you at your earliest convenience. We also have a live chat pop-up box where you can chat to an adviser and receive instant replies. Let us help you gain the compensation you deserve.

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About What Should I Do When I Get Into A Car Accident?
  2. What Are Car And Road Traffic Accidents?
  3. Statistics On Car Accidents
  4. Driver Assistance And Vehicle Safety Technology
  5. Road Traffic Accident Compensation Calculator
  6. Make Sure To Stop At The Scene Of The Accident
  7. What Should I Do When I Get Into A Car Accident?
  8. Exchange Insurance Details With The Other Driver
  9. What Information Should Be Recorded After A Car Accident
  10. Who Should You Notify Of Your Accident?
  11. How Much Time Do You Have To Claim For A Car Accident?
  12. I Suffered An Injury In A Car Accident, What Should I Do?
  13. Car Accident Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis
  14. Other Information
  15. FAQs About What To Do After A Car Accident

Everything You Need To Know About What Should I Do When I Get Into A Car Accident?

This article portrays the steps you should take after a road traffic accident. Nobody wants to be in a car crash, but it’s important to be aware of what to do if it does happen. 

If you have suffered a road traffic accident and want to know the steps you should take, this article can help. It will discuss car accident statistics, what you should do when you get into a car accident, what information should be recorded, and who you should notify.

Furthermore, it will explore the personal injury claims time limit so you’re aware of how long you have to seek the compensation you deserve. There will also be a discussion of No Win No Fee agreements and a personal injury claims calculator table to assess how much compensation you could receive. 

It’s difficult to prepare for a car accident, but there are things you should know. Following the steps in this guide will help you recover from your car accident quicker and with less confusion. 

What Are Car And Road Traffic Accidents?

Car accidents can happen in multiple different ways. For example, a head-on collision if a car is on the wrong side of the road can lead to major damage to the cars and possible injuries to the drivers.  

Another common type of car accident is a sideswipe, where two vehicles crash into each other from the side. This typically occurs when two vehicles drive out of a lane at the same time when it is unsafe to do so, causing the crash. Unfortunately, this type of crash can cause a lot of damage to the car and possibly cause injuries to the driver or passengers.

The injuries sustained from car crashes can range from mild-severe, and they can affect your life greatly. To establish whether you could make an injury claim following a car accident you would need to prove 3 key areas: 

  • You were owed some sort of duty of care
  • This was breached causing a negligent accident
  • you suffered injuries that could have otherwise been avoidable.

Statistics On Car Accidents

The Department for Transport discovered that serious injuries caused by road traffic accidents have steadily increased over the past 3 years. In 2016, there were 24,101 seriously injured casualties in reported road traffic accidents. 

The number increased slightly in 2017, with 24,831 reported serious casualties. Finally, the number rose again in 2018, with 25,484 reported serious casualties in road traffic accidents. However, the number of all casualties have decreased. 

What should I do when I get into a car accident

Driver Assistance And Vehicle Safety Technology

Driver assistance and vehicle safety technology is a growing phenomenon in the modern era. Devices, such as cameras, in the car, can show the driver how close they are to another car when reversing into a parking spot. 

This aims to prevent someone from crashing when reversing and are struggling to see how close they are to cars/objects behind them. Additionally, some cars have automatic parallel parking to try to help people park. 

You can check with your insurance providers if they have discounts on driver assistance and vehicle safety technology. 

Road Traffic Accident Compensation Calculator 

Every claim for a personal injury is different. No two claims are the same. That is why rather than providing a compensation calculator we have chosen to use a table that includes compensation brackets. 

We have provided a table using figures from the Judicial College Guidelines to give an idea of how much compensation certain injuries could attract. Please note these figures are for example purposes only and may vary.

Mental AnguishSevereFear of impending death£4,380
Brain DamageVery Severe Brain DamageLittle evidence of meaningful response and environment, lack of language function, double incontinence, and needing full-time nursing care. £264,650 to £379,100
Brain DamageModerateModerate intellectual deficit personal change, effect on sight, no prospect of employment, and risk of epilepsy.£140,870 to £205,580
Foot InjuriesAmputation of Both FeetThis injury is treated similarly to below-knee amputation of both legs. £158,970 to £189,110
Foot InjuriesModerateDisplaced metatarsal fractures resulting in permanent deformity and continuing symptoms. £12,900 to £23,460
Toe InjuriesAmputation of All ToesThe position in the bracket depends on whether the amputation was traumatic or surgical.£34,270 to £52,620
Toe InjuriesModerate Toe InjuriesStraightforward fractures or the exacerbation of a pre-existing degenerative condition.Up to £9,010
Leg InjuriesAmputationsLoss of both legs above the knee.£225,960 to £264,650
Leg InjuriesBelow-knee Amputation of Both LegsLoss of both legs below the knee.£189,110 to £253,480
Knee InjuriesSevereSerious knee injury with disruption of the joint, the development of Osteoarthritis, lengthy treatment, considerable pain and loss of function.£65,440 to £90,290
Knee InjuriesModerateDislocation, torn cartilage, wasting, and weakness. £13,920 to £24,580

Your position in the bracket will depend on the severity of your injuries and how long the treatment lasts. General damages compensate for the injury itself and the mental and physical effect it has had on your life.

Special damages compensate the successful claimant for any losses caused by their injuries. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Home adaptations
  • Car adaptations
  • Prescription charges
  • At-home care

Make Sure To Stop At The Scene Of The Accident

It’s a legal requirement for drivers to stop at the scene of an accident, if they have caused injury or damage to property to anyone other than themselves. The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that if you do not exchange details with others who have a legitimate reason to ask for them you must report the road accident to the police with 24 hours.      

Generally, you will also need to report the car accident to your insurance company. Check your policy to see how long you have to report the accident. Even if it is only a minor accident most insurance companies will need to be notified. 

It’s also important to report your road traffic accident, as this notifies authorities of how many crashes there are each year and whether that figure is increasing or decreasing. Essentially, it keeps statistics up to date and valid.

What Should I Do When I Get Into A Car Accident?

This section answers the common question ‘What should I do when I get into a car accident?’ As stated at the beginning of the article, there are some concrete steps you must take after a road traffic accident. There are also legal requirements when a road accident takes place. 

  • Stop: Never leave the scene of the accident straight away. You legally must stop if anyone is injured or there is damage to property. Exchange any insurance details with other parties who may ask from you.
  • Call the emergency services if the road is blocked or you or someone else is seriously injured.
  • Turn your hazard lights on so other drivers are aware of the accident: This ensures the safety of the cars around you, especially if you’ve stopped on a hard shoulder. 
  • Contact the police if necessary: This isn’t always necessary, however, in some cases an accident will need police attention.
  • Make a record of the accident and what happened: This will serve as evidence later on if you or the other party decides to make a personal injury claim.
  • Take photos at the scene of the accident: This will ensure you have evidence and can prove exactly the amount of damage that has been caused to the vehicles. You should also take pictures of any injuries you have sustained.
  • Report the accident to your insurance providers: You should make your insurance provider aware of the accident as soon as possible.
  • Seek medical attention. Symptoms appear hours/days after the accident. You should try to seek medical attention at a walk-in centre or your local GP. You may have suffered whiplash, a fracture, or a break that you don’t notice immediately.
  • Keep all your documents etc on file: We recommend you keep all your documents together to ensure you don’t lose or forget any vital information/evidence. The other parties’ details, such as name and phone number, should be included.
  • Speak to a personal injury lawyer: It can be difficult to go through the personal injury claims process without professional help.

Exchange Insurance Details With The Other Driver

In the event of a car crash, you should always exchange details with the other party. This includes your names and phone numbers. This is so you can contact them or their insurance company. 

When you speak to the other driver, you should limit conversation and absolutely do not admit guilt. If you do, this can come back to bite you if one of you makes a personal injury claim. Exchange details, but don’t speak to each other more than you have to. 

What Information Should Be Recorded After A Car Accident

The first piece of information you should gather is the registration plates of each vehicle. This is so that even if a party gives you the wrong contact details, you can still track them down. Additionally, you should write down the date, time, and location of the accident to keep on file.

You should then write down the details of the accident how it happened and who was involved. If you write down the details thoroughly, it can be used as evidence if you decide to make a personal injury claim. Moreover, photos and dashcam video footage will be helpful to use as evidence too as you can physically show what happened and who may have been at fault. 

Who Should You Notify Of Your Accident?

When Should You Contact The Emergency Services?

You should contact the emergency services, such as an ambulance if someone is injured after the accident and requires medical help. Furthermore, if you don’t exchange details at the scene, you should inform the police of the accident. If you don’t, it could appear that you drove off from the accident without stopping, which is an offence. 

When Should You Notify Your Insurance Company? 

Even if a claim is unlikely to be made for a minor car accident, you should notify your insurance company. This is because some people may say they don’t want to make a claim, but later changed their mind. Telling your insurance provider about the accident immediately prevents any confusion or shock if a claim is made.

When Should You Contact A Solicitor?

If the road traffic accident wasn’t your fault, or only partially your fault, you may wish to make a personal injury claim. This is to compensate for your injuries and the impact they had on your life. 

It is not a legal requirement to have a solicitor handle your case. However, they have the experience and capabilities to conduct personal injury claims. If your case looks promising our advisers can transfer your case to a solicitor from our panel. Call our advisers today. They will assess your case for free.

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

Generally, there is a three-year time limit to make a personal injury claim. That’s three years from when the accident happens or you realise the injuries were due to someone’s negligence.

However, if you are under 18, the three-year time limit begins on your 18th birthday. Alternatively, a friend/family member can act as a Litigation Friend to make the personal injury claim for you.

If you’re incapacitated, the time limit begins from recovery. However, someone you trust can act as a Litigation Friend to begin the personal injury claims process straight away instead.

I Suffered An Injury In A Car Accident, What Should I Do?

If you suffer an injury in a car accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical advice. Not only is this the safest thing to do, but it will help your personal injury claim. Your medical report will help substantiate your injuries. 

Next, you should collect as much evidence as possible to support your claim. These could be records to prove you took sick leave from work and suffered a loss of earnings, or bus tickets to prove you travelled to and from medical appointments. Moreover, you should take pictures of your injuries to use as evidence in your claim too.

Finally, you could contact a specialist personal injury solicitor to help you begin your personal injury claim. It is difficult to go through the claims process alone. 

Car Accident Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis

No Win No Fee agreements can be used as a way to avoid paying solicitor fees upfront. No Win No Fee agreements are popular as you don’t have to pay solicitor fees unless your case succeeds.

If your case fails, you don’t have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has worked for. If your case succeeds, your solicitor will deduct a small, legally capped percentage of your compensation. This percentage will be discussed with you beforehand and is to pay the solicitor for their hard work.

For more information contact us by:

  • Calling us on 020 3870 4868. An adviser will discuss your situation with you before passing you onto our expert panel of lawyers.
  • Starting your claim online. An adviser will get back to you at your earliest convenience.
  • Chat to an adviser through our live chat pop-up box for an instant reply.

Other Information

Personal Injury Claims: If you’ve suffered an accident that may not have been your fault, our guide explores how you can make a personal injury claim to receive compensation.

A Guide to Cycle Accident Claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – How to Claim?: Have you suffered a cycling accident and are wondering how much compensation you can claim? This article discusses how you can begin the personal injury claims process.

Road Traffic Accident Solicitors: If you have suffered a road traffic accident, our guide explains all the steps you should take after the accident to ensure you have the best chance of receiving compensation.

Whiplash: This NHS guide shows the signs and treatment of whiplash after a road traffic accident.

Neck Injury: This NHS PDF explores what whiplash is, what the symptoms are, and how it is treated.

Broken Leg: If you’ve suffered a broken leg injury, this NHS article includes what you should do and how it is likely to be treated.

Other Useful Guides

FAQs About What To Do After A Car Accident

What should you do immediately after a car accident?

‘What should I do when I get into a car accident?’ is a common question when someone has been involved in a car crash. You should stop the car and check for any injuries.

What should you not say after a car accident?

After a car accident, you should limit conversation with the other parties and never admit fault.

What to do after an accident that is not your fault?

If you have had an accident that isn’t your fault, you could contact a personal injury solicitor. They can help you gain compensation for your injuries. 

What is the first thing you should do after a collision?

The first thing you should do after a collision is stop your car. You should then check for injuries – call emergency services if someone is seriously injured. Exchange contact information with the other parties.

Writer HL

Checked by IE.