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What to do After a Road Traffic Accident

Woman at the scene of a car crashThere are a number of guidelines that we recommend you follow after an accident, but the most important first step is to try to stay calm and record all the details as accurately as you can.

At the scene

  1. By law you MUST stop if you have been involved in accident. By leaving the scene of the incident you are committing an offence under UK law.
  2. Switch off your engine and turn on your hazard warning lights to make other road users aware of your presence. 
  3. Make sure that everyone is safe and there are no injuries. If there are injuries, or someone is trapped, call the emergency services straight away. Call 999 (or 112 from a mobile phone)
  4. Do not admit liability for an accident and DO NOT sign anything admitting liability.
  5. Exchange details with the other driver(s). This includes: name (of driver and policyholder), address, the make, model and registration numbers of any other vehicles involved and details of their insurance company. It can also be a good idea to ask for proof of identification if you are suspicious of the persons in question.
  6. You don't need to alert the police to the accident unless there are injuries, or a third party is refusing to give you their details, or you suspect a crime has been commited.
  7. Most of us have mobile phones with cameras theses days. It can be useful to take photos of the damage to your car and other involved vehicles. If a dispute arises from a claim, the photos might come in handy.
  8. If you have notepaper and a pen to hand, try to draw a rough sketch of the situation, showing the road layout and the final positions of all involved vehicles. Also make a note of the weather and road conditions at the time of the accident, and estimate the speed of the vehicles involved. This can be helpful later on, when the details may have slipped your mind. 
  9. If your car is still legally roadworthy, you may drive it; however, it may have suffered damage which isn't immediately obvious which could make it unsafe to drive. Unless you are positive that the car is safe, you should call a garage or your breakdown service to have them transport the car to a repair centre.

What to do when you get home:

Call Girl Motor on call 0333 400 7365 to report an accident or begin a claim

  1. Call your insurance company (or Girl Motor if you're a customer) and tell them you have been involved in an accident. For Girl Motor customers, the number is call 0333 400 7365.
  2. If you have comprehensive insurance the insurance company will arrange to have your car inspected at a repair centre.
  3. If your policy includes a courtesy car, you can arrange this with our insurer while repairs are carried out on yours. 
  4. If the accident was not your fault, you can claim any uninsured losses, such as policy excess or repair costs (if you don't have comprehensive insurance) against the negligent third party. 
  5. If you have suffered injuries as a result of the accident we would advise you to contact a solicitor, who can talk to you about claiming for compensation. 

For information about the process of getting your car repairs approved and carried out, or what will happen if your car is written off, please read this article.