What to do at the scene of a road traffic accident

Some keypoints and advice on what to do at the scene of an accident.

  1. Don’t make a phone call whilst sitting in a car immediately after an accident and then get out of the car with the phone in your hand. It will only encourage the other driver to allege you were on the phone when the accident occurred.
  2. Don’t just get a mobile telephone number from the other driver. It’s very easy to take these down wrong and it is very easy to be given a false number. Ask for a name and address. Ask to see a driving licence. Ask to see insurance. Take photos of the driving licence. Take photos of the insurance certificate.
  3. Don’t take photographs too close up of the damage. It is more helpful to take a photograph from a distance as it would help explain how the accident occurred. Always take a photograph of the registration number of the other vehicle and a photograph showing its make, model and colour. If a vehicle turns out to be uninsured, all this information is vital. Don’t assume that you will remember what the other driver looks like. Take a photograph of them if you can. Again, if they are not insured, you need to be able to provide a description, and if somebody alleges that they weren’t driving, it is important that you have captured this image.
  4. Don’t say sorry. People sometimes say sorry out of embarrassment or because they are worried they will seem uncaring if they don’t. Words can be twisted. You should always make sure that you do tell the other driver exactly why you feel they are at fault.
  5. Don’t allow the other driver to convince you not to contact the police. Even though the police are unlikely to come to an accident unless there is significant injury, it is still a legal obligation to report the accident to the police and it is always better if you can say that you were the one who contacted the police.
  6. Don’t assume someone is insured. If you contact us even from the scene of an accident, we can carry out a Motor Insurers Database check and ensure that the vehicle is legally insured and compare that database information with the make and model to guarantee you that it is not a ringer.
  7. Don’t tell the other driver that you are “absolutely fine”. Its too early at the scene of an accident to know that, and again those words can subsequently be used against you.
  8. Don’t agree to go to the other drivers’ nominated garage to get your car fixed! You lose control of the process when you do this. You have no comeback if the repairs are unsatisfactory and you can often be mucked about. It is much better to simply get the insurance details and let us make the at fault insurance company deal with it. Don’t forget that the at fault driver’s insurance goes up just as much if he or she is claiming for their own vehicle damage as it does if you claim against them.
  9. Don’t forget to look for CCTV from any surrounding buildings, shops or garages.
  10. Don’t forget to ask anybody who approaches you if they saw the accident, and get their name, address and contact telephone numbers.
  11. Don’t forget to download and save any dashcam footage.
  12. Don’t forget to ask any witnesses whether they have captured the accident on dashcam.
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