road accident claim

Road Accident Claim: Immediate Practical Steps You Should Take Following A Motor Vehicle Accident

When you are involved in a road accident – there are some essential immediate steps you should take that can help with a later claim for personal injury and vehicle damage.

Discover the practical steps you should take if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident; ensure you received the correct medical treatment for your injuries; notify your motor insurer of your accident and personal injury; how to obtain as much evidence as possible to support your road accident claim for compensation.

What should you do immediately following a road accident?

As soon as you are aware that you have been involved in a road traffic accident (before you make a claim) you should:

Call the ambulance and the police

If you, or anyone else, involved in the road traffic accident has suffered a personal injury – it is important both the police and the ambulance attend at the accident scene.

Take the details of the drivers involved in the road accident

The details exchanges at the scene of a road accident should include the drivers’ names, addresses, telephone numbers, motor insurance details along with vehicle registration and car make.

Take photographs of the accident scene and vehicle damage

If you can, take a photograph of the accident scene including the resting positions of the vehicles and the damage caused. This will prove valuable evidence should you consider making a road accident claim.

Go back to the scene to obtain further evidence to support your claim

If you didn’t have a camera with you at the time of your RTA – go back to the scene as soon as you can to take photos: there may still be visible skid marks on the road that could prove to be important evidence in your road accident claim.

Take the names and contact details of any witnesses to the road accident

These witnesses may be needed to give evidence which can prove your road accident claim if there is a dispute as to how your collision occurred.

Attend at hospital or your GP to have your injuries treated

The importance of attending at hospital and/or you GP cannot be underestimated to help support a road accident claim for personal injury compensation.

At hospital / GP – a record will be made of any trauma you complain of even if no treatment is necessary, so it is important you tell the doctor all of your injuries no matter how small.

Shock Can Mask Your Initial Symptoms
Watch out – some of your injuries, such as whiplash, may go unnoticed initially due to shock. As soon as any symptoms present themselves – however small – see your GP or go to hospital.

Notify your motor insurer that you have been involved in a road traffic accident

Your policy of motor insurance will typically require that you immediately notify your motor insurer of any road accidents involving the insured vehicle. This is true whether the accident was your fault or that of another driver and whether you wish to settle your road accident claim direct with the third party motor insurer.

Your Policy May Be Considered Void
Failure to notify your insurer of an accident may lead to your current or future motor insurer asserting that your motor insurance policy is void.
road accident claim practical steps
Road Accident Claim Practical Steps

Keep a diary of all your physical and psychological symptoms

You should keep a detailed record of all the symptoms you suffer with corresponding dates.

Some of these records may be duplicated in your medial notes. However, as part of your road accident claim – you will see an independent medical expert (arranged by your solicitor) who will need to discuss you past and present symptoms whilst examining your injuries.

Avoid Getting Flustered
The medical examination will typically be very quick. The expert is trying to be objective, so may not seem to be friendly or even on your side. You may get flustered during the examination and forget essential details of your present and past symptoms, which could prejudice your claim.
By keeping a diary of your symptoms – you will have an ordered mind as to what you have experienced. You can use the diary to refresh your memory before the examination begins.
Should you get flustered – be calm and refer to your diary to be as accurate as possible.

The expert will then compile a medico-legal report setting out your injuries. This report is essential evidence that will be used by your solicitor to prove your pain and suffering claim.

Don’t Forget Psychological Symptoms
As well as physical symptoms, you should record any psychological symptoms you experience. Psychological symptoms are a type of pain and suffering for which you can receive compensation.
Symptoms might include shock, sleepless nights, fear of driving or even more severe psychological symptoms suggestive of PTSD.

Keep a record, as well as any receipts, for all your expenses

These records and receipts should include: the repair costs to your vehicle, towing expenses, storage expenses, absence from work, prescription expenses (and other medical expenses), travel expenses to and from the hospital or your GP, etc. These expenses can all form part of your road accident claim.

See our car accident compensation article – for a full list of all the expenses you can include as part of your claim for compensation.

Essential To Win Your Claim And Receive Full Compensation
Keeping records and taking the steps we have suggested may be the last things on your mind following an accident, but they could prove very important to both winning your claim and ensuring your receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

Summary And Road Accident Claim Next Steps

You have seen the important steps you should take immediately following a road accident to ensure you receive the best treatment for your injuries and gather as much evidence as possible to support your road accident claim for compensation in the United Kingdom.

Car accidents tend to be quite straight forward, whereas collisions involving motorcycles are often more complicated resulting in uncertainty as to how the accident actually happened.

See our car accident claim and motorcycle accident claim article to learn the ways of proving how your RTA happened.

See our road accident FAQ to see frequently asked questions and answers concerning compensation for a RTA’s.

FREE – Specialist Solicitor Help Options

We offer a number of online and telephone solicitor help options – you can ask a question, speak direct to a solicitor or have your road accident claim assessed.