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What to do after a car accident

Stay Calm

After an accident a person can feel a wide range of emotions which is normal, try to stay calm, take some deep breaths and count to ten. It’s easier to deal with the situation when you are calm. Do not rush to conclusions, once you are calm you will be able to assess the situation and think through what you have to do.

Assess any injuries

Firstly check yourself to make sure that you are not injured, then check if anyone else is injured. If anyone needs medical attention the call the emergency services on 999.

Moving The Car

A common question we are asked is “should I move my car following a car accident?”  The answer varies, let’s look at a couple of scenarios.

If you are involved in what the Americans call a Fender Bender, a minor accident with no serious injuries. This could include a rear end shunt or someone changing lanes into your car. The best advice is to move the cars off the road to a point of safety. If your car is driveable it is usually always best to move it away from the flow of traffic.

In accidents involving more serious injuries it is best to leave the vehicles where they are and wait for the emergency services. The positions of the cars can help with any investigation into the cause of the accident. Where your car is rendered non-driveable, turn on your HAZARD LIGHTS, remain in your car with your seatbelt on until it is safe to exit, always try to get out without stepping into the flow of traffic. You will need to arrange Recovery of your vehicle call us on 020 8455 6097.

Exchanging Particulars

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988 you are legally obliged to exchange the following information with any person affected by the accident :-

  1. Your name and address
  2. The name and address of the owner the vehicle
  3. The vehicle registration number

Insurance details must be supplied within a reasonable timeframe. See our page on Claim Handling.

Obtain that same information from the drivers or owners of the other vehicles involved. Double check you have recorded the vehicle registration numbers correctly. If you have a camera phone then record images of other vehicles including the number plates.If there are any witnesses try to get their name, postal address mobile phone number and email address. Using modern communication our Claim Handling people can contact other parties quickly and establish stances on liability.

What you are doing now is gathering evidence – a very important stage. There are two types of evidence that need to be obtained, evidence to attribute blame and evidence for damages and losses.

For Blame evidence you need to note road and junction names, note any restrictive lanes and hours of operation, image relevant traffic signs and road markings. Note the direction the traffic flows. Record weather conditions along with the date and time. Note details of what was said in any conversations you have had with other parties involved or witnesses.

For evidence of Damages and Losses, take images or note the areas of damage on each vehicle, record the approximate speed of each vehicle at impact. Make a note of the number of occupants in each vehicle, this will help prevent fraudulent injury claims. Much of the damages and losses evidence will be gathered later in the form of Bodyshop estimates and invoices, car hire invoices, expert reports and the such like.

The gathering of evidence is important in accidents whether you were to blame or not. It help insurers fighting claims ensure the correct level of payouts.


Never admit liability or sign any statements admitting liability for an accident. Leave all issues of liability to our Claim Handling people and your insurers. If the other driver offers to settle the damage in cash later, it is best to refuse as you could get messed around; any delays could affect your ability to claim. Contact us if you need any motor insurance claims assistance.

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