What should you do after a road traffic accident?
If you have just been involved in a road traffic accident, you should stop your car and turn off the engine to your vehicle. The position of your vehicle in the aftermath of the accident can prove useful when making a claim. However, if this is not possible, then you should park up close to where the accident occurred.
If the road accident is significant and/or injury is involved, then it will usually be necessary to call the emergency services to attend the scene immediately. The request for assistance will often include a request for the police to attend as it is they who will deal with recording the details of the accident. All road accidents should be reported to the police within 24 hours regardless of the seriousness of accident and injuries.
You should exchange contact details (name, address and phone number) with everyone affected by the accident. For other drivers you will also need to exchange vehicle registration numbers. You should also look to exchange contact details with anyone who claims to have witnessed the whole incident or its aftermath.
It is advisable that you should avoid apologising in the aftermath of the accident. The faults for road accidents are not always clear cut and the blame can often be shared. It is a natural thing to apologise even when something is not your fault and in the aftermath of the accident, you may be shaken and thinking less clearly. If the fault for the road accident cannot be exactly determined, then your words during the scene may be used against you.
You should take photographs of all the affected and possibly damaged vehicles. Ensure that your photos show each affected vehicle with their vehicle registration number clearly visible. Your photos should also highlight the damages to each vehicle and also show the position of all the vehicles in the aftermath of the accident. The more photographic evidence you take, the better the understanding that your insurers and solicitors will have when deciding on liability for the accident in your road traffic accident claim.
After your road traffic accident you should seek medical attention. Your doctor can treat your injuries and can check for any hidden injuries that you may not initially be aware of. Your doctor will complete a medical certificate to officially declare the date of your visit to the clinic or hospital and the injuries suffered from to the road traffic accident.
Why should you claim for a road traffic accident?
A road traffic accident can cause injury to people and damage to vehicles. There is entitlement to claim for injury as well as the financial loss arising from a road traffic accident that is partly or wholly the fault of another or others.
Your doctor may have requested that you stay at home and rest to aid your recovery. This may affect your work earnings, work bonuses and waste your money for anything paid in advance, such as subscriptions for activities.
For serious injuries where your rest period is long and indefinite, you may be forced to change jobs because the company that previously hired you can no longer sustain itself with your absence.
If you are a driver and your car was damaged in a road traffic accident, your car insurance may not cover enough to fully repair the damages, meaning that you would have to pay out of your own pocket.
As long as the road traffic accident was not wholly your fault, then a claim for compensation would cover all of the above. Where you have been affected financially and where you have been injured, your compensation claim would recompense for it.
Limitation period for road traffic accidents claims
A limitation period is the maximum time allowed to bring a claim to the courts after an event has occurred. The limitation period for a road traffic accident in most cases is 3 years for injury claims, and 6 years for vehicle damage and other claims where there is no injury. For minors injured in road traffic accidents, they have until they turn 21 years old to make a claim.
Do you have a valid claim?
You are still entitled to a claim when:
- the defendant does not have motor insurance for their vehicle
- the party responsible for the road accident drives off in a hit and run incident and the police have failed to identify or catch them
- you are partly responsible for the road collision
Scott Rees & Co is one of the biggest and most successful road traffic accident solicitor firms in England and Wales. Our specialist solicitors have settled thousands of road accident cases totalling over millions of pounds of compensation for our past clients.
Road traffic accidents are always a stressful period of time for the victims. We understand this, and so our policy is to ensure that your claim goes as quick, smooth and stress-free as possible. Our solicitors will maintain a consistent level of communication with you as you are guided throughout the claim process.
Our service is highly professional and completely confidential. We operate on a ‘no win, no fee‘ basis. This means that you do not need to pay for our service if you do not win your compensation claim. So if you have been affected by a road traffic accident, then why don’t you contact us and tell us of your circumstances? We provide free-to-call phone numbers and alternatively, you can start your claim by submitting your details through any of our online claim forms.