What to do if you’re in a car accident

If your searching for insurance cover in case of an accident then you can find more information on Total Loss GAP protection here at Perrys. If you’re looking to repair your car which has been in an accident, you can also try Perrys Crash Repair Centre located in Aylesbury.

For more repair and maintenance work for your vehicle, you can also visit the Perrys Service online page to make a simple online booking.

What exact steps you’ll need to take in the immediate aftermath depends on the circumstances of the car accident. Regardless of the details it helps that you know what to do in case of a car accident to avoid needlessly breaking the law.

If your car is involved in an accident then in all likelihood you need to stop and remain at the scene of the accident for a reasonable period of time. This is certainly something you must do if the accident damages another vehicle or someone else’s property.

You also must stay at the accident scene if any person other than yourself is injured. You also need to stay if an animal is killed or injured as a result of the car accident, unless it’s in your own vehicle or trailer. In the case of any car accident an ‘animal’ is defined as ‘any horse, cattle, ass, mule, sheep, pig, goat or dog’.

If you do need to remain at the scene of a car accident, then you should give certain details about yourself and your vehicle to the owner of any other vehicle involved in the accident. This is provided of course the person has reasonable grounds to ask for such details in the first place.

The details which you’ll need to pass on will include your name and address, your vehicle registration number and the name of the vehicle owner if it’s someone besides yourself.

If someone else is injured in the car accident then you will also need to produce your certificate of insurance to anyone who has reasonable grounds to view it.

If for whatever reason you do not exchange these details at the scene of a car accident, you must report the incident to a police station or police constable within 24 hours after it occurred. If you need to show your insurance certificate at a police station but don’t have it with you then you can take it to a police station you nominate within seven days of the accident.

Remember that reporting the accident by telephone to the police is not acceptable, nor is it acceptable to have someone else report it for you.

You will be obliged to follow all these steps even if your vehicle was not directly involved in an accident, but its presence was a factor behind the incident.

Even if you don’t think the accident was your fault, or if you have any doubts about your involvement in such an incident, it’s still far better to follow these procedures anyway. If another driver holds you responsible for a car accident, they have the right to request your insurance details.

Failing to follow these procedures means you could be committing two motoring offences – ‘failing to stop’ and ‘failing to report’.

Being found guilty of either these offences can result in a maximum fine of £5,000 plus five to ten penalty points on your driver’s licence. In more serious cases of car accidents, failing to stop or report can get you disqualified from driving for a period of time or even lead to a maximum prison sentence of six months.

After you’ve passed over all these required details report the accident details to your vehicle insurer. Your insurance company will send out an adjuster to look at your car and give you an estimate on the damage. Depending on the circumstances of the crash your insurance company will instruct you on what to do next and how much you will need to pay or will receive in compensation.