Had an accident?If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a road accident there are certain basic things you should try and do.
- If anyone has suffered any injury at the scene of the accident or if there is a risk of fire from leaking petrol or any suspicion that the other driver may be intoxicated through drink or drugs then call the emergency services without delay.
Unless there is real injury or risk to the safety of other motorists arising from the accident it is unlikely that the emergency services will attend at an incident. In those circumstances it is important to record as much as possible from the accident scene.
- Do not admit liability under any circumstances. This rule applies not just at the scene of the accident but also if you receive a telephone call from the other driver or his insurer after the accident.
In general terms you should avoid speaking with the insurer of the negligent driver after the accident and should seek assistance in responding to any correspondence you might receive.
In general terms the insurer of the negligent driver will want to reduce the amount of any compensation you are entitled to receive from the accident and until you have received proper advice you may not know what the entitlement is. Anything that you say to the other party will probably be recorded and it may prejudice the outcome of your claim.
- At the scene of the accident, you should obtain as many of the following details from the other drivers of any other vehicles involved in your collision.
- Name, address and phone number
- Vehicle registration number, make and model
- Exact damage and the location of the damage
- Insurance company and policy number
- Name, address and phone number of any witnesses
- A plan of the accident scene and, if you have a camera with a phone, some photographs
- Telephone our accident management centre on 0800 408 9999.
We can provide you with assistance to confirm that you were not at fault for the accident and will help advise you on how best to obtain a replacement vehicle for the period in which your own is being repaired.
- In the event that there was any injury arising from the accident, damage to any street furniture or if either you. Or the other driver, did not stop after the accident or did not provide their name, address, vehicle registration number and insurance details, then you should report the accident to the local Police. You will have to do this in person and if they do not wish to take details from you, you should ask for a self-reporting accident form so that you can comply with your legal responsibility.
- Following an accident for which you were not to blame, you are entitled to be put back into the position that you were at immediately before the accident occurred. This means that you have the right to replacement transport, the right to have your vehicle repaired to its pre-accident condition, the right to claim compensation for any loss in the value of your vehicle arising from the accident damage and the right to make a claim for personal injury to recompense you for pain and suffering arising from any personal injury sustained by you. We can advise and assist you with all of these losses.
You should bear in mind that, in bringing any claim for compensation, you are under a common law duty to mitigate which means that you are expected to keep resultant losses and expenses to a reasonable amount. That act of mitigation does not mean you have to suffer or make do.
- Finally, wherever possible, you should retain receipts for items of expenditure that you incur and for which you might wish to reclaim from the negligent driver. If you wish to claim for incidental expenses - telephone calls made and letters sent, for example - then you need to keep a record of these events.