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Download: What to do if you have a road traffic accident

Step by step

  1. Get the vehicle registrations of all the cars involved. Go for the vehicle you believe is responsible for the accident first and then the others. Taking pictures on your mobile phone is a perfect way of getting their registration number but also car make, model, colour and the scene of the accident. Taking pictures of the third party vehicles is important as there is a yearly increase of reported cases of cloned number plates and non insured cars.
  2. Collate the following information on your mobile phone or by pen and paper ASAP: car registrations, makes, models, colour from the point of the accident, or, keep a cheap camera in your car – taking pictures is the best evidence if later required.
  3. Ask everyone involved for their full name, address and phone number. Ask for proof of ID like a driving licence for you reassurance.
  4. Always ask who their insurance is with and do they know their policy number. Most people won’t know their policy number unless they keep it in their car documents within their car, but everyone should know who they are insured with and if they don’t – then make a conscious effort to get a picture of their ID.
  5. Take as many pictures as possible at the scene of the accident. Most client pictures we receive show us the damage of their car but not necessarily the scene of the accident which ultimately can prove who was at fault. Take quite a few steps away from the accident and try and get the whole scene – including the road markings, cars involved, signs and even the people involved as this covers the description part in point 6. Remember, you can take close up pictures of your damaged car later.
  6. If you haven’t got a camera on your phone then take note of everyone’s description; Sex, Height, Hair Colour, Build, Skin Colour and facial features like a beard.
  7. Take a look around you, is there anyone who saw the accident that you could ask to be a witness. If the case has to go to court, a witness goes a long way. Get their name, number and address and establish whose fault they believed the accident to be.
  8. Take a note of the name of the road and what direction you were heading.
  9. Always go to the hospital or your GP if you have been injured so there is a record of your injury. Anyone who is injured should see a medical professional. Although it’s not impossible, it’s sometimes challenging gaining injury compensation for someone who hasn’t seen a doctor/specialist after the accident.
  10. If you are struggling to collate this information because the person/s are not co-operating or you suspect they are not insured then get as much information as possible like vehicle registration, make, model, colour, description and call the police.

To obtain the most compensation possible, never accept the first offer from the insurers. Research provided by the law society say’s you will get on average 2-3 times more compensation using a solicitor compared to accepting the first offer from the insurers.

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