By law, what should you do if you’re involved in an accident?
You must STOP at the scene.
If someone is injured, telephone for an ambulance and the police, giving an accurate location.
You must call the police if…
- no one is injured but the road is blocked, or you need assistance,
- an animal running across the road is injured,
- another vehicle or someone else’s property is damaged,
- a bollard, street lamp or other item of street furniture is damaged.
You must give your own and the vehicle owner’s name and address. You must also provide your insurance details. Be prepared to provide this information to anyone who has reasonable grounds for asking.
If you do not give your name and address at the time to any person who has reasonable grounds to ask, you must report the accident to the police as soon as practicable, and in any case, within 24 hours. Remember to take your driving documents with you.
Contact Your Key next and let us contact your insurance company.
It’s peculiar, but if you hit a horse, cattle, ass, mule, sheep, pig, goat or dog you must report it. Reporting any other animal is at your discretion, but do make sure it’s not injured or suffering.
Don’t admit fault as you won’t be in the right state of mind. Working out blame for an accident is for others to decide, given the full set of circumstances.
While you are at the scene gather information. Everyone’s memory can play tricks on them, so the sooner you do this the better. You need to build a complete picture of the incident:
* Identify your vehicle location and direction.
* Write down a description of the accident as you remember it happening.
* Take photographs or video of the scene.
* A sketch plan drawn at the time of the accident can be invaluable and can save many words.
* Vehicle registration numbers and insurance policy details are vital.
* Identify witnesses and record their contact details. A business card or mobile number may really help your case as witnesses do drift away. Sometimes people will offer help at the scene but will not be interested in helping further.
What will the police do for you?
Any non-injury collisions may not be recorded by the police and you will be advised if this is the case.
Any collision that needs to be recorded will be allocated to a police officer, who will investigate the circumstances, check all documents and complete a written record.
Therefore all the information is available to you should you require it.
Will the police prosecute in every case?
The police will investigate and record details of any collisions where there is clear evidence of unacceptable driver behaviour or other offences in relation to the use of the vehicle.
Guidelines are available from the Crown Prosecution Service as to when a prosecution is brought. This means not every case will involve full investigation or prosecution.
What if the other driver is uninsured?
Compensation for damage and injury caused by an uninsured driver, or injury caused by an unidentified driver may be available from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. You will receive the specialist advice required when you contact Your Key first after an accident.