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Apr 26

What information do you need to collect after a car accident?

Posted by:AutoMoney

Although we would probably rather not think about the possibility of having a car accident, the reality is that they do happen often on our busy roads.  It is important to know what you should do, and more importantly, what information you need to obtain from other drivers if your car is involved in an accident with another vehicle. 

Here’s a list of the things that you should do immediately after a car accident.


No matter how minor the accident is, it is important that you stop.  You could be in further trouble if you don’t stop after an accident, as it is an offence under the Road Traffic Act. Pull over somewhere safe, switch off the engine, switch on your hazard warning lights and then exit the vehicle only when it is safe to do so. 

Seek help

Take a look around – if anyone is injured, there is a fire, or other potential risk, call for help. You also need to call the police if the car accident has blocked the road – call 101

What details to give

If you are involved in a car accident with another vehicle, you are obliged to give your details (your name and address) to any parties involved. However, it’s important not to apologise or accept any blame as this can be used against you later in the claims process or in court, if it gets that far. Instead, let your car insurance fight it out for you and settle the case.

If you have an accident with a parked car, for example you’ve reversed into it, you must either leave your details on the windscreen, or wait at the scene of the accident for the owner to return, and then give your details.

If you have an accident that doesn’t involve another car, or you have been unable to give your details for whatever reason, you must contact the police within 24 hours. If you do not, further action may be necessary, which could include a fine, points on your licence, or even disqualification.

What details you need to collect

If possible, try to get as much information as you can from the other drivers involved in the car accident - make sure you always get a name, address and contact number if you can. Make a note of their car make, model and registration plate number as well as the colour of the car for your records and to pass on to your insurance. If you can establish some further details, such as whether the driver is the registered keeper of the vehicle this will help, otherwise, if they are not the registered owner, you will also need to ask / find out this information.

If someone leaves the scene of an accident without leaving any details with you, also known as a hit and run, you need to phone the police as soon as possible and report this to them. 

Other details to consider

Try and take some pictures of the accident, and the damage to all cars involved. Make a note of the road the accident happened on, time of the day, driving conditions and a rough description of what happened. By noting it down straight away, you will be less likely to forget something that could be important at a later date.

Make a list of any witnesses to your accident, either other motorists or pedestrians that were passing. Also include a list of people involved in the accident, their passengers and any police officers or paramedics who attended the scene.

If you can, draw a quick sketch of the accident, clearly showing and labelling all the cars involved. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece; it is really for you to show your insurance and make sure that the facts are not distorted in any way in the future, or throughout the course of the insurance claim and  investigation. 

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