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What to do if you have an accident

The first thing to do after an accident is make sure everyone is alright. Your safety is paramount. Check everyone in your vehicle to make sure they are okay and if any one is hurt, ring the emergency services immediately.

If safe to do so, get yourself to a place of safety. If you are on a motorway or dual carriageway, get out of your car and either get behind the barriers or up the embankment. If your vehicle is in a dangerous position, or if there is any debris in the road, ring the emergency services.

What if someone is injured?

If you are hurt and think you have back or neck injuries the emergency services suggest that you do not get out of your car. However if the car is in a dangerous situation you may need to reconsider leaving the vehicle.

If you do have back and neck injuries, it is advised you stay in the vehicle. But please note if the emergency services believe you have injuries, they will cut the roof off your car to safely remove you. They are not liable for this, so you do need to consider whether you have injuries or not.

If everyone is okay, and it is safe to do so, see if the other driver is alright. Obviously contact the emergency services if they are not.

Do not admit liability or say it was your fault.  Also request their insurance details

If you have a warning triangle, place it at least 45 metres down the road to warn other road users, protect yourself. If possible keep your side light on if visibility is dark or poor

If possible, photograph your vehicle and whatever has collided with you. Take as many photos as possible with the vehicles in situ. Do not move the vehicles if you can avoid it. Take some from close up, show what part of their vehicle has contacted your vehicle and photograph both.

Also stand back to give a perspective of road layout and distance relative to both vehicles. This way insurers can see exactly what part of each vehicle has hit each other. This is very very important and greatly aids your insurer to work out what has gone on.

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What about liability?

Do not admit liability or say it was your fault. Also request their insurance details. Obtain the other parties details, get their name, address, phone number, vehicle registration. Make a note of how many occupants are in their vehicle, also note the make,model and colour of the vehicle.

For peace of mind, (politely) ask for proof of identity, so you know the information is not false.

You are entitled to do this as a refusal to give insurance information is a criminal offence under Section 154 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. So if they refuse at the scene, ring the police.

Look for any witnesses and get their details. Also look to see if any cameras are around.

If possible photograph the driver and occupants - there is no law against this. If you feel comfortable doing this, it is up to you, but it can be of massive benefit in stopping fraudulent claims against you.

Insurers often find that the people who object the most have something to hide. If someone in any way gets aggressive toward you, ring the police and advise them you have had an accident and feel intimidated by the other party. They will attend.

If the other party leaves the scene without stopping, contact the police immediately.

>> Your complete guide to motor insurance


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