What to do after a road traffic accident

Published: 21st March 2022

If you’ve been injured in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, our specialist road accident solicitors can help you secure compensation for your injury as well as putting in place all the support you need. Unfortunately, accidents happen every day on UK roads. The latest government statistics show that there were 119,850 casualties from road accidents in the year ending June 2021.

Whilst the statistics over the last 3 years show a decrease in the number of road accident casualties, the importance of staying safe on the road still remains paramount.

In this article, we cover the important steps to take after being involved in a road traffic accident and how to make a road traffic accident claim.

An overview of road traffic accident statistics and the causes

Out of the 119,850 casualties reported in 2021, 23,140 serious injuries were reported as well as 1,390 fatalities.

The most common cause of road accidents in the UK is due to the driver or rider not looking properly, this accounts for 39% of road accidents.

Therefore, this highlights the importance of looking sufficiently and being vigilant when on the roads, especially when pulling out at junctions. Exercising extra caution and vigilance can go a long way in preventing such accidents on the roads.

Read more about the major causes of UK road traffic accidents and how to avoid them.

What to do if you are involved in a road traffic accident

As per Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act, it is the duty of the driver to stop, report an accident and give information or documents after being involved in an accident that results in damage or injury.

In this section, we outline the steps you need to take after being involved in an accident on the roads.

Stop your vehicle

From minor to serious, unfortunately accidents occur on our roads every day. The most important thing to do after being involved in any collision is to stop as soon as possible and as soon as it is safe to do so.

Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act states that it is the duty of a driver to stop after an accident. Failure to stop may result in a fine, imprisonment, penalty points on your license or even disqualification from driving. The implication depends on the seriousness of the offence. Driving off may have worse repercussions than stopping after the accident.

You can find more information about this by reading the Road Traffic Act.

Seek help

Being involved in an accident whether you are a driver or passenger is overwhelming and it is completely normal to feel shaken. If anyone is injured, call the police and an ambulance immediately to the scene of the accident.

You should put your hazard lights on to ensure other road users are alert to the accident. You should not leave the scene however, you should try, if possible, to make sure you are somewhere safe.

Exchange details

You should exchange details with others involved in the accident including names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers and insurance details if required. You should also make effort to get the details of those who witnessed the accident, this may help at a later date when pursuing a claim.

If possible, at the time, you (or somebody else) should try and note down all other details regarding the incident which will also be beneficial later.

Reporting the accident

If details are not exchanged at the time of the accident, you will need to report the accident to the police within 24 hours.

You are also required to inform your insurance company of the accident. In cases where the driver is not insured, you should notify both the police of the accident and inform your insurance company of this, in this case you will likely have to pursue a claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (a body into which all motor insurers pay, to compensate the victims of uninsured/untraced drivers).

How to make a personal injury claim after a road traffic accident

Seek legal advice

The first step you should take is to contact a firm specialising in personal injury cases and seek legal advice. This way, you will have solid advice from experts to move forward with.

We offer a free consultation to all our clients and will provide you with the expert advice you need.

Find the right solicitor

It is important when choosing a solicitor to know if they have the expertise and experience to successfully handle your case. If you’ve been involved in a serious accident with life-changing consequences, it is vital to get an expert on your side.

After all, considering your future and the support you will receive after your injury is incredibly important. Therefore, instructing a solicitor you trust and have confidence in is vital to ensure the best possible outcome for your future.

Make a claim

If you choose to pursue a claim with us, your solicitor will guide you through the claims process and help you gather all the information and evidence required to support your case.

Further to this, we utilise our excellent relationships with many of the UK’s leading medical experts to ensure your injuries are appropriately assessed, this allows us to build your case and help us secure the best outcome for you.

Of course, there will be more elements involved in the progression of the claim before a settlement can be achieved, your solicitor will walk you through the process when you start your claim with us. Our team will always negotiate the best possible outcome for you and there are many cases where we have recommended rejection of initial offers and then gone on to negotiate much improved offers for our clients. Please see below two examples where much improved offers were secured:

‘Matthew’ – Motorcycle accident – After receiving an initial offer from the Defendant, we advised our client that the offer was too low based on the evidence to hand. Following this, we gathered further medical and quantum evidence and achieved a much higher settlement for our client.

‘Anne’ – Hit by a car whilst crossing the road – In a recent case, we declined two offers initially made by the Defendant that we deemed too low. Following court proceedings and our client being examined by a medical expert, the Defendant put forward an offer that was almost double their previous offer.

If you would like expert legal advice from a specialist solicitor, click here.

If you are ready to make a claim, click here.

No Win, No Fee Road traffic accident solicitors

Having an expert on your side can make all the difference to your case. Our team have 32 years’ experience dealing with a range of road accident claims, with a proud track record of achieving multi-million pound settlements for our clients who have been seriously injured in a road accident.

Talk to one of our road traffic accident experts today.

As always, we wish everyone safe travels; however, if you or any of your family or friends are involved in an accident on the roads and require legal assistance from a Top Tier Legal 500 rated law firm, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We can be contacted on 0330 058 0377 for a free, confidential conversation with a qualified, serious injury solicitor. Alternatively, please send us your contact details to enquiry@seriouslaw.co.uk, and one of our team will be in touch. All enquiries are free and confidential.