If you have the misfortune of being involved in a road traffic accident, there are certain steps you should take before leaving the scene.
First of all, you should make a note of the time and date as well as the weather conditions and visibility.
Write down exactly what happened at the point of impact, and what you think caused the accident. You should also record the road system i.e. single track, motorway, roundabout and describe the scene of the accident, noting any signposts, traffic lights and road markings.
Ideally, take some photographs of the accident scene – as long as it is safe for you, and other road users to do so. Make an immediate note of the contact and insurance details (if relevant) of any other drivers, pedestrians, passengers and witnesses involved.
You should also try to jot down:
- the make, colour, distinguishing features and registration numbers of all vehicles involved as well as the number of passengers in each
- the damage to each vehicle
- whether the other drivers were using indicators or headlights
- the name, collar number and force details of any police officers attending
- any obvious injuries suffered by anybody involved (including yourself)
It’s worth being aware that it’s unlawful to withhold insurance details where there has been loss of property or injuries caused, so if the other parties to the accident refuse to pass on their details – call the police straight away.
Once any immediate danger has passed, and any injured persons have been seen to by the emergency services, you should contact your insurance company. Your policy may contain deadlines requiring you to notify the company within a set period, which may enable them to refuse you cover if you miss these, so treat the process as a matter of urgency.
If you have been injured as a result of the accident, go to hospital if your injuries are severe, or at least make an appointment to see your GP. If you don’t take medical advice at the outset but later realise you have a significant injury, it may be more difficult to prove that it was caused by or linked to the accident.
If you have been injured in a road traffic accident, and want to know whether you can bring a claim, please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialist road traffic accident solicitors. Our large personal injury team is made up of expert lawyers, all of whom have spent many years in practice. We can review your circumstances on a free of charge, no-obligation basis and advise you about proceeding with a claim.
Don’t accept your insurance company’s advice that you need to speak to their panel solicitors – YOU DON’T!
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