Just been in a car accident…

An accident can happen at any time. However careful you might be someone else could cause an accident and hit your car.

If you’ve just been in a car accident and it wasn’t your fault, what should you do? Working in the Nayyars New Claims Team where we take details of accidents from new clients it is unfortunate that some of them have not taken the right steps at the accident scene.

The law states that you must stop immediately. This is for any car/vehicle accident whether you are at fault or not. Bring your car to stop at a safe place and be ready to get out and exchange details.

It is legally an offence to leave the scene of an accident and the police can charge you for not abiding by this. If you were in an accident and somebody at the scene was seriously hurt or even died and had left the scene, you could face a higher charge.

However panicked you are do not drive off! If you fear for your safety dial 999 and inform the police before you do anything else.

By immediately stopping your initial thoughts should be to help people who might be injured, if the accident was a severe impact the emergency services should be called. If the emergency services are not needed the next step would be to exchange names and addresses and vehicle details with the other driver. If you have hit a home owner’s front wall or fence, you should give your details to the home owner. If they are not there then write your details down and post this to them, they will find this at a later point.

Once all passengers and drivers are checked and safe, and details have been exchanged, it is also a good idea to ask any witness’ if they saw anything and if they would be willing to act as a witness. If yes, then note down the witness’ contact number, name and address.

The police should be informed of the accident if there is serious injury, property damage or an unsettled/continuing argument between parties which could become serious. Once the police have arrived you should ask them for a police log number.  Do not forget to note down the name of the reporting office, the log number and the station they have come from.

It is a good idea to take photographs at the scene of the accident. This is only after anyone involved has been checked on. The photographs could include; the location of the accident, the third party themselves, the third party vehicle (registration/make/model), your vehicle and the damage it has sustained etc. It is also a good thought to take photos of your injuries and to keep taking photos of your sustained injuries post-accident. This can be a good proof of evidence that your injuries have lasted.

It is always important to keep a note of all medical attention sought. This can be notes from your local GP, hospital or potentially physiotherapy if you have been referred by your doctor. You should always keep a detailed description of any treatment given which can help you in the long run. You should keep into account the effects of your injuries, this can include any time taken off work, how long you have been off work and how your injuries/pain has impacted your life post-accident.

Notify your insurance company. You need to inform your insurance company of every accident you have. Work together and tell them the truth about your accident and the injuries you have sustained. Explain clearly, as there may be consequences if you are found out to be giving false information to your insurers. This could include the withdrawal of coverage for the accident.

After this, ring us as we can help!

Bridget Noctor

New Claims Assistant

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