Understanding the Law

What to do if you are involved in a car accident

Anyone who has been involved in a car accident of any type will know how stressful it can be, and how it can all become a bit of a blur very quickly.

Many types of car accidents will likely result in some type of insurance claim from one side or the other, and as much detail as possible must be collected at the time and scene of the accident.

Car Accident Claims

Many insurance companies provide an app that people can download to their smartphone that walks them through what to do in the event of a car accident. This can be practical, and, if available, most drivers should download it at the time of their renewal.

Alternatively, keep a notebook and pen in your car so that you can easily write out a checklist of what they need to do in the event of some type of collision or damage.

Below are listed the main things that are important to do after a crash, which can have a significant impact on any insurance claim that may be made at a later date.


It may or may not be a legal requirement to call the police in the event of an accident. This partly depends on where the accident happens, who else is involved and whether or not anyone is injured.

However, accidents do have the potential to turn nasty, and if anyone is unsure at all about what to do, it is always a wise thing to call the police and request an ambulance as well if that might be needed.


Gathering as much information as possible from anyone else involved in the accident, and from any witnesses, may prove crucial in determining who was at fault in any future insurance claim.

The crucial information is to get any details of any other driver, their name, address, telephone number and their insurance details, as well as their vehicle registration number.

If they are reluctant to provide information, then just having the registration number of other vehicles can be an important first step that can be followed up later by the police or the insurance company.

It is also a good idea to note the weather conditions at the time, as well as any markings or unusual surfaces on the road itself.


Most people have a smartphone with them at the time of an accident and as such can take photographs of the scene itself, any other vehicle and any other surrounding information that may be helpful, such as roadworks etc.

If someone does not have any type of camera with them, then simply making a fairly basic map or diagram of the area will help. This should simply show the location of the vehicles, ideally before and after the accident, and any other useful markers.

Motor Accident Claims

People tend to refer to the motor accident claims when the accident has involved has one or more vehicles that are not a car, such as a truck, lorry or bicycle.

Given the significant increase in other types of vehicles on the road, notably electronic bicycles, small mopeds, electric scooters, etc, it is highly likely that many road traffic accidents in the future are likely to be referred to as motor accident claims as opposed to car accident claims.

In any event, the information above must be followed where there is any type of accident involving one or more motor vehicles.

Compensation Lawyers

Most car accident and motor accident claims are settled between insurance companies themselves, unless someone has been injured in the accident, either as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, cyclist or passerby.

Any injury caused as the result of the accident could lead to compensation, and it is important to contact a firm of compensation lawyers, sometimes called personal injury lawyers, as soon as possible. They can help the person assess whether or not they have a claim and how to proceed as a way forward.

The firm of compensation lawyers will work in conjunction with the other insurance companies to hopefully secure a settlement without the need to go to court. This process can sometimes take several years, depending upon the nature of the injury or injuries, but the lawyers can often secure an interim payment much earlier on.

Contact a lawyer for more information about car accident claims