What to do after an accident

No one likes to think about having a car accident. But it’s important to be prepared in case it happens to you. And being prepared means knowing exactly what to do after the accident occurs. There are certain steps you need to take – and if you don’t, you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

If you receive a motoring conviction after driving away from an accident, this could make it hard for you to find affordable car insurance in the future. That’s where the Insurance Factory can help – we cover drivers who have committed driving offences in the past with convicted driver insurance.

These policies feature all of the benefits as standard car insurance and are designed to reflect the unique circumstances of the individual. Our aim is to get you back in the driving seat with minimum hassle, and make sure your premium is one you can afford.

With some help from Which?, we’ve put together this handy step-by-step guide on what you need to do if you’re involved in an accident.

1. Stop the car

First things first: you need to stop. It doesn’t matter if it was a minor bump or you don’t think either car has been damaged, it’s an offence to carry on driving under the Road Traffic Act.

Switch the engine off and turn on your hazards to warn other drivers.

2. Call for help

Who you call next will depend on how severe the accident is. If anyone is hurt then you should call the police on 999 as soon as it’s safe to do so, and an ambulance too if required.

If emergency assistance isn’t required, then you should call the police on the non-emergency 101 number instead.

You should also phone the police if the incident is blocking the road in any way, or you have reason to suspect foul play from the other party involved (for instance, if you’re worried that you’re a victim of a ‘crash for cash’ scam).

If you haven’t got one already, you should really consider setting up a dash cam in your car.

They can prove invaluable in the event of an accident, as the footage you capture could be used as evidence and potentially prove your innocence.

An ambulance travelling at speed with its lights and siren on

3. Exchange details

You’re required to give your name and address to the person you’re involved in the accident with, and vice versa. If you drive into a parked car with no one in it, and can’t track down the owner, you should leave your details on their windscreen.

If you can, get names, addresses and contact details from the other drivers involved, as well as any passengers or witnesses to the incident.

You should ask for the insurance details of the other driver involved and try to ascertain whether or not they’re the registered keeper of the car. If not, then ask them who is and get their address.

Don’t say sorry or accept blame for the accident until you know exactly what happened, or it could work against you later on. It could even result in an insurance claim being denied by your provider.

You need to report the incident to the police within 24 hours of it occurring. If you don’t  you could receive a fine, points or even a driving ban.

Phone 999 straight away if the other driver leaves the scene of the incident without giving you their details and try to give the police as much information about them and their car as possible.

4. Gather additional information

Ultimately, the more information you’re able to gather from the incident, the better.

It’s always a good idea to keep a pen and notepad in the glove box for these type of situations – that way, you’ll be able to record details such as:

·         The registration number of any vehicle involved (it can also help to make a note of the make, model and colour of each vehicle).
·         Time and date of when the incident occurred.
·         A sketch showing the position of the vehicles after the incident.
·         A note of what the weather was like, plus any other factors that stand out, such as if the road quality or lighting is particularly poor.
·         A list of the damage to each of the vehicles.
·         A note of injuries sustained by drivers, passengers or pedestrians.

It can also be helpful to take pictures of the incident using your mobile phone, as these can also be used as evidence.

If your phone’s camera isn’t up to scratch, think about buying a disposable camera and storing it in the glove box with your notepad.

A woman on her mobile phone looking at her damaged car after a crash

5. Let your insurance provider know

You should let your insurance provider know about the incident as soon as you can, bearing in mind that the terms of your policy may set out a time frame for informing them. If you miss this, they may not agree to process a claim if you wish to make one.

Even if you don’t want to make a claim, it’s a good idea to let your insurer know that you were involved in an accident.

Each insurer’s process for dealing with a claim is different, but initially they’re likely to ask for the other party's name, address, contact details, vehicle reg number and car insurance company details.

You’ll also need to give your insurer as much information about the incident as you can – if you’ve followed the steps above, you should have plenty to give them.

Your insurer may ask if there were any witnesses. If there were and you got their details, this could really help with your claim.

Your insurer will let you know what you need to do from then on. If another person was involved in the accident, your insurer will get in touch with their insurance company and seek to resolve the claim with them.

Convicted driver insurance from the Insurance Factory

Remember, if you’re looking to get back behind the wheel following a conviction, the Insurance Factory can help to find you a policy that reflects your individual circumstances, for a price that’s right.

Get a free, no-obligation quote for convicted driver insurance today!

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.