What To Do In The Event Of A Traffic Accident

by Tim Bishop on December 1, 2013

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Being involved in a traffic accident can be one of the most stressful events you’ll ever experience, and whether it was your fault or not, you need to be aware of your legal rights as well as knowing what to do both at the scene of the accident and afterwards.

After all, depending on the circumstances, you could be subject to motoring prosecution for careless or dangerous driving, for example, and you may need to make a personal injury claim for compensation.

Either way, here are a few basic tips to make sure you do everything by the book.

At The Scene

The first thing you need to do after a road accident has occurred is – quite obviously – stop. Even if you weren’t directly involved in the incident yourself, if you saw what happened you could end up being a key witness. Your next priority is then to check if anyone has been injured and call for the necessary emergency services – an ambulance for people needing urgent medical attention, and also the police if the road has become blocked or if anyone has fled the scene.

You’ll then need to start gathering information: exchange details (name, address, phone number, vehicle information, insurance information etc) with every driver involved in the accident, as well as gathering the same details (minus insurance info) from any witnesses. It will also be incredibly useful to write down as many details of the accident as possible (note them on a phone or in a notebook if you carry one in your car). This can include the time of the accident, the weather and road conditions, exact location (including street names), damage to the vehicles and information concerning skid marks. It can also be very helpful to make a sketch of the scene of the accident or take photos if you have a camera or camera phone with you. Any type of evidence will come in handy later for insurance claims or if judicial action is required.

After The Initial Accident

You’ll obviously need to inform your insurance company if any damage was inflicted on your or someone else’s vehicle, and if the police ask for a valid insurance certificate (this can also be requested by other people involved in the accident), one must be produced either immediately or taken to a local police station within seven days of the accident. It is worth noting that if the police suspect a crime has been committed, they can check the insurance information of a certain car or driver using a database, and can seize the vehicle if it is being driven while uninsured.

Seeking Professional Help

Of course, this is just a very brief look at your rights and what you should do in the event of an accident. For more information concerning road traffic law – or if you want to proceed with legal action due to a road accident – a specialist solicitor will be able to help you, whether you are the victim of someone else’s dangerous driving or if you were involved in an accident where you were at fault. A firm that has experience in road traffic law will be able to impart their knowledge on this legal area and give you professional advice on what to do next.

Tim Bishop is senior partner of solicitors Bonallack and Bishop. For expert help with road traffic law, click here or call them on 01722 422300 or visit their website at http://www.bishopslaw.co.uk


Tim Bishop
Tim Bishop is senior partner of Bonallack and Bishop, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset-based solicitors offering a wide range of legal services to both private and business clients
Tim Bishop

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