What should I do immediately following a car accident?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident which was caused by the negligence of another party then it’s only fair that you should be able to make a claim for compensation. It doesn’t matter whether you were the driver, a passenger or even a pedestrian, if you’ve suffered injuries then you may well be able to claim for the injuries themselves and for any immediate and on-going monetary expenses.

Making a successful claim will consist of proving two different things. The first is that the accident was caused by another person’s negligence. This may well be a pedestrian, a cyclist or even the body responsible for the upkeep of the road surface, but in most cases it will tend to be the driver of another vehicle.

Occasionally, the circumstances of a car accident are pretty much cut and dried, and in these cases the insurance company representing the other party will probably admit liability and pay out without recourse to court proceedings. It’s more usual, however, for the different parties to be in dispute over exactly who was to blame and for a court to be asked to decide. In cases such as this it’s vital to collect and present as much information as possible in order to paint the fullest picture, and your actions in the immediate aftermath of the accident will play a huge part in this.

Amongst the things you should do immediately are the following:

  • Take down the contact details of any witnesses.
  • Take down the number plates of all vehicles involved in case any of the details given are wrong.
  • Tell the police. This is a legal requirement if somebody has been injured, and it will also create an official written report to bolster the evidence.
  • Take down the contact and, if possible, insurance details of everyone involved.
  • Seek medical attention. Even if you’re not certain whether or how badly you’ve been injured it’s vital to seek immediate medical attention. First and most importantly this will pick up and treat any injuries sustained, whilst the medical and hospital records created will form a vital piece of evidence.
  • If possible, take photographs of the scene. If not, sketch what happened whilst it is still fresh in your mind, noting the position of vehicles and witnesses and the direction of travel etc.

 

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