If you’re wondering what to do after a car accident in the UK, you may not be alone. While drivers know the many potential risks of the road, few may take to it expecting a car accident to happen. Being involved in an accident could be stressful, and if you do not know the correct steps you should be taking afterwards, you could make mistakes. These mistakes could potentially hinder your ability to make a personal injury claim for an accident that was not your fault.
To help you, we have created this guide. In the below sections, we explain the actions you should take at the scene of an accident and what to do after a car accident injury. We also answer questions such as:
- Can I drive my car after an accident?
- How long should you rest after a car accident?
- How long do I have to report a car accident to my insurance company in the UK?
- Can I make a claim if an accident was partially my fault?
We also offer some insight into how to calculate compensation for car accident claims and how to ensure your claim is as strong as it could be. If you’d like to benefit from free legal advice about your accident, or you’d like us to put you in touch with a personal injury lawyer to start your claim, you can call our team on 0161 696 9685 at any time.
Select A Section
- A Guide On What To Do After A Car Accident
- How Is Compensation For A Car Accident Calculated?
- Types Of Car And Road Traffic Accident Special Damages
- What Is A Car Accident?
- Road Safety Facts And Statistics
- Don’t Admit Any Guilt
- What Should I Do At The Accident Scene?
- What Evidence Should I Record And Report?
- Who Do I Notify About My Car Accident?
- How To Reduce The Risk Of Having Road Traffic Accidents
- How To Claim If Injured In A Car Accident
- No Win No Fee Car Accident Injury Claims
- Talk To Our Team
- More Information
While many drivers across the UK make an effort to drive carefully and safely on the roads, accidents still happen. We have created this guide to help you understand what to do after a car accident you’re involved in. Whether or not the accident is your fault, there are specific actions you should take at the scene of and after an accident to ensure you take care of yourself properly, especially if you sustain injuries.
This guide will discuss what to do after a car accident that’s not your fault and what to do if it was partially your fault. We also explain how you could claim compensation for injuries in an accident in which someone else is to blame.
When Can I Claim For A Car Accident?
Whether you suffer injuries in a sideswipe accident or sustain a whiplash injury in a rear-end shunt, you may be wondering whether you could claim. To make a claim, you would need to prove:
- Someone else has some liability for the accident. This could be another road user or even the local authority in cases relating to potholes and road obstructions.
- You have injuries that have been caused by the accident.
- You were claiming within the relevant personal injury claims time limit. This is usually 3 years from the car accident date, but some exceptions could apply.
What If I Am Partially At Fault?
Suppose an accident occurs in which both you and another road user could be at fault. Some people might assume that they would not be able to claim if they were partially at fault. This is not always the case. If blame can be apportioned to both parties, you could still claim compensation.
However, the insurance company would likely seek to reduce your compensation to reflect your involvement. If you believe you were partially at fault for an accident, we have produced a guide to help you, which you can read here. Alternatively, we could provide free legal advice over the phone, or give you further help regarding what to do after a car accident.
When you claim compensation for a car accident, you would need to attend a medical assessment appointment with an independent professional. They would review your past medical notes where appropriate and would examine you.
The expert would then use the result of their examination, the assessment of your past notes and their professional knowledge to write a medical report. This would serve as medical evidence for your claim and could be used to determine an appropriate payout amount.
Example Compensation Amounts For Personal Injury Claims
You might be surprised to see that we have not included a personal injury claims calculator in this guide. We have opted instead to provide you with a table containing figures from the Judicial College Guidelines, a legal publication that lawyers and courts could use to determine compensation payouts for personal injury claims.
If you aren’t sure which bracket your injury falls into, or you’d like to ask about another injury, please call us. We’d be glad to give you more information over the phone, as well as discuss what to do after a car accident further.
|Site of injury||Severity of injury||JCG Compensation Bracket|
|Neck||Severe||£42,680 - £139,210|
|Leg||Severe||£36,790 - £127,530|
|Pelvis/Hips||Severe||£36,770 - £122,860|
|Arm||Severe||£90,250 - £122,860|
|Neck||Moderate||£7,410 - £36,120|
|Shoulder||Severe||£18,020 - £45,070|
|Pelvis/Hips||Moderate||£11,820 - £36,770|
|Back||Moderate||£11,730 - £26,050|
|Leg||Moderate||£26,050 - £36,790|
|Shoulder||Moderate||£7,410 - £11,980|
|Neck||Minor||Up to £7,410|
|Back||Minor||Up to £11,730|
|Back||Severe||£36,390 - £151,070|
There are different types of compensation that could make up your payout award. Below, we explain what these are:
These are the non-pecuniary costs associated with your injuries. That is the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you experience. Lawyers and the courts calculate these based on an assessment of your injuries and how they affect you. The examples in the table in the above section are general damages.
You could also include special damages within your claim. These relate to pecuniary (quantifiable financial) expenses, and could include:
If you suffer injuries that require rest and recuperation at home, you may not be able to attend work. You could lose out on income as a result. If you do, you could include income loss within your claim.
Should you suffer injuries that mean you can’t take care of yourself, you may need someone to care for you at home. You could recover the costs of such care within your claim.
Some people incur medical costs, such as those for medicines, or treatments such as counselling and physiotherapy. They could recover such costs as special damages.
If you pay for travel to appointments with your lawyer, or for medical appointments associated with your injuries, you could recover these expenses too.
The Importance Of Proving Special Damages
You must be able to prove you’ve experienced any costs or losses as a result of your injuries. Payslips, receipts and bank details could be vital in helping you claim everything you could be entitled to claim.
Car accidents could happen in many ways. While many drivers take care when using the roads, others may not. In some cases, despite road users taking care to drive safely, the conditions of the road could lead to an accident. A car accident could be caused by:
- An obstruction in the road.
- Unsafe road surfaces.
- Speeding drivers.
- Failure to stop at traffic lights.
- Aggressive manoeuvres.
- Unsafe lane changes.
- Traffic light failures.
- Drivers’ distraction.
- Driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol.
If you suffer injuries in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you could claim compensation for your injuries. You could also claim for any costs associated with your injuries, such as loss of earnings. For free legal advice on whether you could claim for an accident, or discuss what to do after a car accident further, why not call our team?
The fact is, road accidents happen in the UK every year. According to the latest government statistics, there were 153,158 casualties of all severities reported on UK roads in 2019. Statistics from government reports reveal that:
- 1,752 people were killed on UK roads in 2019.
- 25,945 people were seriously injured in the same period.
- There were 125,461 other injuries reported.
No matter how fast or slow you may be driving when an accident is caused, you could still sustain injuries. If you sustain injuries in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, the following sections should inform you of what to do.
You might not think anything of saying ‘sorry’ at the scene of an accident, but you should not admit guilt in any way if you can avoid it. While saying sorry at the scene of a car accident could be something you see as a polite gesture, the other party could use this against you.
Although saying sorry does not mean you legally admit liability for the accident, it would be wise to avoid this. Your insurance policy may also state that you must not admit guilt at the scene of a car accident you’ve involved in.
In addition to this, you should not try and apportion blame on the other party too. Accident scenes can be stressful places, and tempers could become frayed. It would be best for you to stay calm and avoid any arguments that might make matters worse.
If you’re wondering what to do after being involved in a car accident, you can find some guidance below. Following these steps could help you not only take the most appropriate actions but could also strengthen your claim if you intend to make one.
1. Stop At The Scene
Failing to stop at the scene of an accident is an offence under the Road Traffic Act. You should always stop the car and switch on your hazard lights to warn other motorists of your presence.
2. Place Warning Triangles Out
You should attempt to protect the scene of the accident. You could put warning triangles out if it is safe for you to do so.
3. Contact The Police If Required
Obviously, if the accident is severe and has caused property damage or injuries to people, you should call the police. If you’re wondering what to do after a minor car accident where no one appears to be injured and there is minimal damage to the vehicles involved, we would always urge you to report the incident within 24 hours to the police if you are not able to do it immediately.
4. Record The Scene
If you have paper and pen, or a smartphone, it might be worth jotting down the position of vehicles. You could write down details of what happened so that you have a record of events. You might also want to note the time of day, light conditions and weather.
5. Take Pictures/Video At The Scene
If it is possible, you could take some pictures of the scene and your injuries. These could serve as a record of events.
6. Exchange Information With Other Parties
You should also exchange insurance details with any other involved parties. It is a legal requirement that you share:
- Your certificate of insurance if someone is injured and a party has reasonable grounds to see it.
- Your name and address
- Insurance details
- Your contact details
- Your driving licence number
If you’re unable to give these at the scene, share these with the police within 24 hours of the accident.
7. Report The Accident To Relevant Parties
If you’re wondering how long you have to report a car accident to your insurance company, it would be best to check your policy. However, we would advise you not to wait to report an accident to your insurer.
8. Check Everyone For Potential Injuries
It would be wise to check everyone involved in the accident to see if they are suffering symptoms of injuries. Please note, however, that the symptoms of some injuries, such as whiplash, may not appear immediately. It would be wise to get checked out by a medical professional. You should never drive off from the scene of an accident if you don’t feel well enough to drive.
9. Keep Details Of What Has Occurred
If symptoms of injury present after the accident, you should see a medical professional for advice and treatment, where appropriate. This could also serve as a record of the accident and your injuries.
You should also keep hold of any documents relating to time off work, or expenses you’ve sustained because of your injuries. Some people keep a diary of how they’ve suffered from their injuries too, which could help illustrate ongoing suffering.
10. Speak To A Solicitor
Our advisors could provide free legal advice to you if you sustain injuries in a car accident that was not your fault. Our panel could also put you in touch with an experienced personal injury solicitor to help you with your claim.
If you’re wondering what to do after a car accident in terms of gathering and keeping evidence, the below could be useful:
- Registration numbers of all vehicles involved
- Date, time and location of the accident
- Details of the accident, how it happened and who was involved
- Photos/dashcam video footage of the accident and accident site
- Evidence of your injuries (photos or medical reports)
- Witness contact details
- Proof of costs incurred due to your injuries
What to do after a car accident may vary depending on the type and severity of the accident. In general terms, you should;
Phone Emergency Services
If people sustain injuries that appear to be severe, you should phone for emergency medical help.
Reporting A Car Accident To The Police
You should also call the police if there has been damage to property or people. If the accident is minor, and both parties are ok to move on you should still report it to the police within 24 hours.
Reporting A Car Accident To An Insurance Company
As we mentioned, different insurers have different rules when it comes to informing them after an accident. It would be wise to check your policy to ensure you report the accident within the period specified on your policy.
The most important thing to do when driving is to pay careful attention to the road and your surroundings and drive in accordance with The Highway Code. However, there are also technological advances that may help reduce your risk of an accident on the road, such as:
- AEB: Autonomous Emergency Braking automatically applies brakes if your car’s sensors detect the possibility of a crash. This could help you avoid a crash entirely or reduce the speed of collision.
- Parking sensors: These could warn you of your proximity to other vehicles.
- Cruise control: Cruise control automatically reduces your speed if traffic slows in front of your vehicle.
- Dashcams: These could record both in front and behind your vehicle. While they may not prevent an accident, they could ensure you have a record of what happens.
- Lane departure warning technology: If you drift out of your lane, these systems could warn you, helping you to avoid a collision.
While it could be possible for you to claim without legal assistance, you may prefer to have a lawyer on your side throughout the process. There are certain benefits to having a legal professional take charge of your claim. These could include:
- Less stress for you: The lawyer would take on the legal legwork of proving your claim.
- Maximum compensation possible: Your lawyer would be fighting for the maximum compensation possible for your claim.
- Help during court cases: While many cases never reach the courtroom, if yours does, your lawyer could support you.
Not only this, but a lawyer could also ensure you don’t miss out on any of the damages you could be entitled to claim. For further information on what to do after a car accident, give our team a call today.
Now you know what to do after a car accident in the UK, you might want to go ahead and make a claim. If you’d like a lawyer to help you, you may be pleased to learn that you could retain the services of a solicitor without paying them anything upfront. Under No Win No Fee terms, you only pay your lawyer’s fees if your case wins. In general terms, such claims work as follows:
- Your lawyer sends a No Win No Fee Agreement to you. This agreement document contains details of a small success fee that would be payable if your lawyer gets you compensation. It is usually a small percentage of your total settlement and is legally capped.
- You would read and sign the agreement and send it back to your lawyer.
- Your lawyer would begin working on your case once they received it. They would collect evidence and negotiate on your behalf for a compensation settlement. If the other party disputes liability, your lawyer would support you through the courts to help claim the compensation you deserve.
- Once the liable party (or their insurers) have paid the settlement, your solicitor deducts their success fee, and you benefit from it before giving the rest to you.
What If My Claim Is Not Successful?
If your solicitor doesn’t achieve a settlement for you, you don’t pay their success fee. To read about No Win No Fee claims in more detail, why not check out our guide? Alternatively, one call to our team and you can have the answers to any questions.
Now you know what to do after a car accident, you may be considering starting a claim. We could help, by providing free legal advice to you over the phone, or by putting you in touch with a solicitor from our panel who could fight for compensation on your behalf. We could even provide you with a free eligibility check on your case, to see if you could have a valid claim. To contact us, simply:
- Call our expert advisors on 0161 696 9685
- Fill out the contact form
- Use our live chat to message us instantly
What To Do If My Back Hurts After A Car Accident – If you sustain a back injury this page could be useful.
What To Do For Whiplash After A Car Accident – Should you suffer whiplash after a car accident, this guide may offer useful advice.
General Advice On Car Accident Claims – Here, you can find further guidance on making car accident claims.
Passenger Accident Claims – You can find out more about claiming as a passenger in a car accident here.
Government Guidance On Vehicle Insurance – This government guide offers advice on reporting an accident.
Road Traffic Accident Statistics – Further road traffic accident statistics can be found here.
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