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What to do if you are involved in a road traffic accident

12 December 2018

Being in a road traffic accident can be an extremely scary and stressful experience, however, if you are planning on making a claim, it is imperative that you act quickly. Whether it’s a small bump or a bad crash, you must be proactive with what you do next. Claims often have expiry dates, and important details can be lost or forgotten over time.

Immediately after an accident: checklist

  • Make sure you stop the car regardless of how minor you may think the accident is. It is an offence not to do so under the Road Traffic Act.
  • Switch off the car’s engine.
  • Turn your hazard lights on so oncoming traffic and other road users are aware you are there.
  • Check for any injuries to yourself or passengers in your car.
  • If there are no injuries, you should make a note of it in case the other party tries to claim for an injury later.
  • Call the police, and an ambulance if necessary, if anyone is hurt or the accident has caused the road to be blocked.
  • Although it’s completely normal to be shaken after an accident, try to remain as calm as possible. By losing your temper, you are only making the situation harder on yourself.
  • Avoid taking blame for the accident until you are fully aware of what happened as this can be used against you at a later date.

The importance of details and witnesses

You are obliged to give your name and address to anyone involved in the accident. Even if you crash into a stationary car on or close to the road and no other people are involved, you should still provide details (leaving your information on the windscreen for example).

If there are any witnesses to the accident, you should collect names, addresses and contact details. The other driver should also provide their car insurance details. You should try and establish whether they are the registered keeper of the vehicle and, if not, find out who is.

If the police attend the scene of the accident, make sure that you note the officers’ name and details. The report that they file may be needed to support your accident claim further down the road.

Evidence in a road traffic accident

Having photographic evidence of the car accident can be extremely useful when trying to make a claim. Gathering evidence directly after the accident can significantly improve your chance of success. Take as many pictures as possible of the state of your car as well as the other party’s vehicle.

Making a claim

Phone your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. Failure to do so within your policy’s set time period can make your cover invalid and end up costing you a lot of money. Make sure you have:

  • your policy number or specific information to identify yourself
  • the registration number of the cars involved
  • the driver’s name, address and telephone number
  • the driver’s insurance details if they provided them.

Contact Scullion LAW Specialist Road Traffic Lawyers Today

If you are in a road traffic accident and wish to make an accident claim in Glasgow, Hamilton, Bearsden, Milngavie, Lanarkshire, Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Bothwell, Uddingston, Stirling, Dumfries, Inverness or anywhere else in Scotland then DON’T PANIC! Speak with one of our specialist Road Traffic and Personal Injury Lawyers at our offices in Glasgow on 0141 374 2121 & Hamilton on 01698 283 265 or fill out our online form and we will call you back within 24 hours.

Please remember that Scullion LAW Road Traffic Experts is part of a full service, high street law firm and we are on hand to help you with all your legal needs.

 

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