How Do You Report A Car Accident?

How Do You Report A Car Accident In The UK?

In accordance with the Road Traffic Act 1980, section 170, all drivers must stop at the scene of an accident if damage has been caused or if somebody is injured. They must also give their contact details to anybody else involved if requested.

But what else do you need to do after being involved in a road traffic accident? Do you need to report the accident? If so, who to? In this guide, we are going to answer the question, “Do you need to report a car accident?” to help clarify matters.

How do you report a car accident guide

How do you report a car accident guide

We will also look at your right to claim compensation if you are injured in a car crash. This might be possible if the accident wasn’t your fault or if you were only partially responsible.

If, after reading, you decide to make a claim, we could help. After you have finished reading, we could help if you do decide to claim. Our team specialise in personal injury claims. They offer a no-obligation review of any case along with free legal advice on what you should do next.

If the claim appears viable, you could be referred to a personal injury lawyer from our panel. Should they agree to take your claim on, they will manage it on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you would like our advice on claiming, please call us today on 0161 696 9685. For more advice on reporting a road traffic accident, please continue reading.

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A Guide On How Do You Report A Car Accident?

In the event of a car accident, you may find that you’re so shaken up that you’re initially not sure what to do. Therefore, we’re going to explain what to do at the time and following a road traffic collision. We’ll also try to answer some common questions, including:

  • Do you have to report a minor car accident to the police in the UK?
  • Should I tell my insurance company about a minor accident?
  • How many days do you have to report a car accident?

Importantly, if you are injured in a car accident that was caused by somebody else’s negligence, you might be entitled to claim compensation. To help with that, you will need evidence to support your claim. 

Without evidence, the defendant’s insurance company could deny liability for the accident and your injuries. Therefore, it is a good idea to take the following steps after an accident:

  • Photograph the scene and try to capture it before anything is moved.
  • Take details from the other driver, including their contact details, insurers name and vehicle registration number.
  • Ask any witnesses for their details.
  • Secure copies of any dashcam footage available.
  • Have your injuries assessed at a hospital or by your GP as soon as possible.

Another thing you will need to consider is the personal injury claims time limit. This is generally 3 years from the date of the accident. 

If your child has been injured in a car accident while under the age of 18, then they can be claimed for by a litigation friend up until their 18th birthday. If once they turn 18, no claim has been made on their behalf, they have until their 21st birthday to claim themselves.

When you have completed our guide if you would like to know more about claiming, why not call our team of specialists? We’ll review your claim during a free telephone consultation and explain your options.

Car Accident Calculator For Claims

In this section, we are going to show how much compensation could be paid for injuries sustained in a car crash. Importantly, no two claims are the same, so you should use the figures we supply as guidance. If your claim is taken on by a lawyer from our panel, they will be able to supply a more personalised estimate after reviewing your case.

The first thing you’ll claim for is the pain, suffering and loss of amenity that results from your injuries. This is known as general damages. 

The estimated figures for this head of your claim are contained within our table below. The data is taken from the Judicial College Guidelines, a document used by legal professionals when setting compensation amounts.

Body PartSeverity LevelCompensationMore Information
NeckMinor£4,080 to £7,410Examples in this category are whiplash injuries where full recovery occurs in a 2-year period.
BackModerate£11,730 to £26,050Example injuries in this category are prolapsed discs leading to laminectomy, disturbance of muscles causing backache, or soft tissue damage that increases suffering caused by a pre-existing condition.
ShoulderSerious£11,980 to £18,020Pain in the shoulder and neck caused by damage to the lower brachial plexus and dislocation of the shoulder is an example of an injury covered by this category.
HipsModerate£11,820 to £24,950This category is used when a hip replacement is needed.
WristFractureAround £6,970Uncomplicated Colles' fractures of the wrist.
LegFracture£8,550 to £13,210Covers breaks of the femur but where there isn't any damage to the articular surfaces.
KneeModerate£13,920 to £24,580Minor instability caused by a torn meniscus, weakness, wasting or other mild disabilities are covered by this category.

You will need to supply evidence of the severity of your injuries during your claim. Therefore, during the claims process, you will require a medical assessment. Our panel of personal injury lawyers usually book these locally. 

The assessment will be carried out by an independent medical expert. They will examine your injuries, review your medical records and discuss your injuries with you.

After the meeting, the specialist will detail their prognosis and findings in a report that will be sent to your lawyer. As this report is a requirement of your claim, medical assessments are necessary for all cases.

Further Damages You Could Claim

As well as claiming for physical suffering, you might need to claim for losses and expenses incurred as a result of your accident. This part of the claim is called special damages. As before, the amount that can be claimed varies, but some of the expenses you can be compensated for include::

  • Travel costs. This might cover the cost of alternative travel arrangements required during your recovery. It could also include public transport fares, fuel costs or parking fees incurred because of medical appointments.
  • Medical costs. Should you have to pay for prescriptions or other medications, the cost could be claimed back. Also, in some cases, you might need to claim for the cost of non-NHS services.
  • Care costs. You could claim for the time somebody spent supporting you during your recovery. This could include a family member helping you with daily chores.
  • Changes to your home. If you are left with a disability following the accident, you might need to modify your home to help you cope. The cost of any necessary changes could be included in your claim.
  • Lost income. Taking time away from work to recover might prove expensive. If you do lose income because of your injuries, it could be claimed back.
  • Future lost earnings. For injuries that have an adverse impact on your ability to work, you could claim for future lost earnings. As an example, an electrician who ends up with reduced grip following an accident might lose work if their ability to do their job is affected.

For more advice on what you could claim, please speak to an advisor today. Please bear in mind that you should retain evidence of your expenses, including receipts, wage slips and bank statements, in order for you to get the maximum compensation you’re owed.

 What Is A Road Traffic Accident?

A road traffic accident can involve a single vehicle, multiple vehicles or a mixture of vehicles and pedestrians. For the purpose of claiming compensation, you need to show that:

  • You were owed a duty of care by the other road users involved.
  • That their negligence led to an accident happening.
  • Because of the accident, you sustained an injury (or multiple injuries).

Proving a duty of care is quite straightforward as all users of public roads need to drive safely to try and avoid accidents. Proving negligence and that injuries were sustained is possible using the evidence we discussed earlier, such as photographs, dashcam footage and medical records.

You may still be able to claim if you were partially to blame for the accident. This is known as a split-liability claim. The claim will proceed as normal once each party has agreed on a percentage share of the blame. Following that, any compensation will be adjusted accordingly.

If you would like help with starting a claim, why not contact our team today? We’ll be happy to offer free legal advice following a no-obligation review of your accident.

What Should You Do After Being Involved In A Car Accident?

As well as the process of gathering evidence that we discussed earlier, there are some more steps you should take following a car accident. These include:

  • Stop as soon as possible. We’ll explain the legalities of why you must do so in the next section.
  • Turn your hazard lights on and stop the engine.
  • See if anybody in your vehicle is injured.
  • Check to see if anybody else is injured.
  • If someone is injured, the road is blocked, or you suspect the other driver is drunk, dial 999 and speak to the operator.
  • Move passengers to a safe place if you’re able to do so.
  • Swap or exchange details with others involved in the accident if asked.

Who Should You Report A Car Accident To?

Following a car accident, you may need to report the incident. Who you report the accident to will vary depending on the circumstances in which it took place. They could include:

  • The police. In accordance with the Road Traffic Act, you must report the accident to the police if a) the other driver won’t supply their details; b) If you couldn’t supply insurance details at the time of the accident. Documentation must be produced at a police station as soon as possible and no more than 24 hours from when the accident took place. Reporting of an accident might be possible on the non-emergency police number, 101.
  • Your insurance company. Most insurance policies have a condition that you must report accidents involving your vehicle as soon as possible. This is the case whether you were at fault or not. You need to tell them about the accident even if you are not going to claim.
  • The Motor Insurers’ Bureau. This is a scheme that can be used if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver (or hit and run driver). We’ll explain more later on.

Do You Have To Stop After Being In A Car Accident?

The Road Traffic Act explains that you must stop at the scene of an accident where any damage has been caused or where anybody is injured. In reality, this means you will need to stop for most types of car accidents.

The reason for stopping is to help anybody who is injured and to provide your details to anybody with ‘reasonable grounds’ to ask for them. Generally, that will be the other party involved in the accident.

It’s worth reiterating that, at this point, it would be a good idea to gather details of witnesses. You should also take photographs of the crash scene before anything is removed. If you are injured, you should attend A&E as soon as possible to receive treatment.

Should I Report My Car Accident To the Police?

You don’t always need to report the accident to the police. If you call 999 about the accident, the police will automatically be sent with an ambulance. However, you only need to contact the police about an accident if you haven’t swapped details with others involved in the accident.

If you need to report to the police, you should do so within 24 hours. Sometimes this is possible to do via 101, but you may have to take documentation to your local police station.

Do I Have To Report A Damage Only Non-Stop Accident?

The police would be overwhelmed if every single collision had to be logged with them. If everything is dealt with at the scene and both parties swap details, there’s no need to report the accident.

This police advice says that for damage-only collisions (i.e. no injuries have been sustained), you should only contact the police if you have the registration number of the vehicle that caused the damage, but they did not stop at the scene. You could also report the incident to the police if the area where it happened was covered by CCTV or if there is an independent witness who can verify the vehicle’s registration number.

How Do You Report A Car Accident To The Motor Insurers’ Bureau?

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau was set up to help protect drivers who are involved in accidents with hit and run or uninsured drivers. The scheme is funded by insurance companies that levy a fee on insurance policies. This means that as an insured driver, you have contributed to the scheme.

You will need to provide similar details to the MIB as you would in claims against insured drivers. Therefore, you should still take steps to secure information about the other vehicle at the time of the accident. The registration plate, car make, model and colour should all be written down as soon as possible to help you remember if you decide to file a claim.

You don’t need to wait for a conviction in a hit and run case either; as long as you have reported it to the police and have a reference number, you could begin your claim.

We are able to help with MIB claims. If you would like free legal advice on starting, please let us know. We will review what evidence you have and let you know your options. Remember, any advice we offer is free whether you choose to claim or not.

Should I Say Sorry After A Car Accident?

Fault, or liability, for an accident is worked out by experts after the circumstances of the accident have been reviewed thoroughly. We would advise you not to admit the blame for the accident at the scene.

This is true even if you think you were at fault. The reason for this is you might not be aware of everything that led to the accident, especially if you are suffering from shock. Admitting liability for a car accident could impact your ability to claim compensation for your injuries.

If you are unsure of what caused your accident to happen, why not call us today? We have a team of specialist advisors ready to take your call. They’ll review all of the evidence to try and determine what happened.

If there is enough proof that the other driver was to blame, you could be partnered with a personal injury lawyer from our panel. They’ll work with you on a No Win No Fee basis if they agree to represent you. Remember, you may be able to recover some of your costs and be compensated even if you were partially to blame for the accident.

Car Accident No Win No Fee Claims

Are you worried about the cost of hiring a solicitor to help with your car accident claim? If so, we can help. This is due to the fact that our panel of personal injury lawyers offer a No Win No Fee service for all accepted claims. 

This allows you to get access to an experienced legal representative with reduced financial risks. All in all, this will make the claims process less stressful, too.

The lawyer will need to check over your case before accepting it. If they believe there is a reasonable chance of success, you will receive a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is the formal term for a No Win No Fee agreement and explains what needs to be achieved if the lawyer is to be paid for their work. Furthermore, it outlines that:

  • Payment upfront is not a requirement of the claim starting.
  • The lawyer won’t ask you to pay their fees while they work on your case.
  • If your claim does not succeed, you won’t need to pay the lawyer’s fees at all.

In fact, you will only have to pay your lawyer if you‘re successful in your claim. In this case, they will keep a portion of your compensation. This is referred to as a success fee, which is listed in the CFA as a fixed percentage of your settlement. Legally, success fees are capped to prevent overcharging.

If you would like us to verify whether your claim could be made on a No Win No Fee basis, why not get in touch today?

Contact Us

We are nearly at the end of this article about claiming for injuries caused as a result of being involved in a road traffic accident. We are here to help you if you have decided to claim. To contact our team, you can:

  • Call us for free legal advice on 0161 696 9685.
  • Tell us about your car accident by completing our enquiry form.
  • Explaining your case to an online advisor via live chat.

Our claims line operates 24-hours a day. You’ll be given free claims advice when you call, and an advisor will assess your case with no obligation. 

If you decide to make a claim, and your case is strong enough, we could partner you with a specialist lawyer from our panel. Remember, to reduce the stress involved in claiming, any accepted case will be funded by a No Win No Fee agreement.

More Information On How Do You Report A Car Accident

Thanks for reading this article about reporting car accidents. Hopefully, you now have all the information you require and know what to do next. In this last part of our guide, you’ll find some links to resources that may prove useful.

The Road Safety Trust – A charity that awards grants to try and reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on the road.

Whiplash Injuries – Advice from the NHS about soft tissue injuries caused following a car crash.

The Highway Code – All of the rules of the road with sections relating to different types of road users.

Finally, please take a look below at some more of our guides that demonstrate how else we could help:

Fatal or Wrongful Death Accident Claims  – This guide looks at the process of claiming for an accident in which a loved one has died. 

Split Liability Personal Injury Claims  – Free legal advice on claiming compensation for a split liability accident. 

Pedestrian Accident Claims – Details of the types of accidents that could entitle an injured pedestrian to claim.

Thank you for reading our guide, looking at the question “how do you report a car accident?”.

Guide by TE

Edited by NS