What should I do after a road accident? Checklist

Drivers exchanging details after a road accident

Whether the accident was your fault or not, there are a number of critical things to do immediately after the accident if you can.

The following steps will:

  • improve your chances of a successful personal injury claim
  • ensure you don't compromise your legal position
  • help you defend yourself against any potential allegations made by the other parties involved in the accident

After a road accident, shock may make it hard to remember what to do. Consider printing this checklist and storing it in your glove box for easy reference.

Post road accident checklist

Action Details
Stay on the scene It is an offence to leave the scene of a road traffic accident, so remain there until you have exchanged contact and insurance details with the other parties.
Call an ambulance Call 999 if you think anyone is seriously injured.
Call the police Call 999 if someone is injured (even for minor injuries), in danger, or if you think an offence has been committed. Ask the police for a copy of the accident report as this help support any future claim.
Get witness details If you can, obtain names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses.
Get medical attention Seek medical attention ASAP - even if your injuries are minor. Ask the medical professional for a written account of the consultation and any treatment.
Don't accept liability. This is critical. If another driver was at fault, accepting liability could compromise your position if you, or another party, takes legal action. Simply exchange details and note down the facts.
Write an account of what happened Write an account of what happened, including everything you can think of, even if it doesn't seem relevant at the time. Specifically, write down:
the make, model, registration and colour of all vehicles involved in the accident.
If a commercial vehicle is involved, write down the company name, and the registration of both the HGV and its' trailer, as they may be different.
the weather conditions and the condition of the road: how might this have contributed to what happened? Is the light bad, the road wet, is it foggy? Is there any debris on the road?
details of any damage to vehicles.
details of injuries sustained by drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
the collar or badge number of the police officer in charge of the scene.
Take photos of everything Photograph the accident scene from all angles, including your injuries and vehicle damage.
Keep receipts Retain receipts for any expenses you incur as a result if the accident. Retain all relevant correspondence.
Keep a diary Keep a diary about your injuries, Be specific and include as much detail about the level of pain and inconvenience being experienced.
Talk to your employer Ask your employer to write a letter confirming the amount of time you have had off work, any impairment to doing your job and confirmation of any loss of earnings.

See also:

How do I make a road accident claim?

When should I notify my insurance company?

As soon as possible after the accident.

Your insurer will request the following from you:

  • The registration details of all vehicles involved in the accident.
  • The names, addresses and phone numbers of all drivers involved.
  • The insurance details of all drivers involved.
  • Information by which they can identify you such as your policy number or vehicle registration.

See also:

I was hit by an uninsured driver

Do I have to use my insurer's solicitor?

How long does an insurer take to settle a claim?

Calculate my injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your injury claim could be worth now.

How did your injury happen?

The claims process for a road traffic injury will depend on where and how the accident happened. Click the icons below for more information:

Get expert advice now

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Source: Metropolitan Police

Source: NHS - When to call 999

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher