Steps to Take When You Are Involved in a Car Accident

Most of us will be involved in a car accident at some point in our lives, whether it’s a full-blown collision, or just bumping into a parked vehicle.

No matter what the circumstances, any incident can be a stressful situation and you need to know exactly what to do when you face a problem like this.

Fortunately, we have put together a guide of the things you need to take note of if you are involved in a car accident, what you need to do, and the steps you must take afterwards.

What Should I Do If I Hit a Parked Vehicle?

Hitting a parked vehicle, or damaging a person’s property can leave you quite shaken up, but the worst thing you can do is leave without informing them of the incident. Under the Road Traffic Act of 1988 it is a legal requirement to leave your name, address and registration number if you damage someone’s property or cause any harm. Therefore, it is essential that you follow these steps below:

Record details of the incident:

  • Take photographs of both vehicles
  • Take photographs of the damage
  • The other vehicle’s registration number
  • The time, date and place of the incident
  • Details of any witnesses

Pass on your details:

  • Share your registration number
  • Share your name and contact details
  • Give the name of your insurance company

Once you have taken the details, and vice versa, you must inform your insurance company within 24 hours of the accident taking place. Whether it is a minor or major accident, you will be bound in your insurance contract to tell them about any accidents you have.

What If the Car Accident Involves Another Person?

If you are involved in a collision that involves another person then this can be much more serious and there are more steps you need to take in order to ensure every one is as safe as possible.

Make sure you and others are safe

  • Call 999 if anyone is injured or the vehicle is blocking the road and could be dangerous
  • Stay away from moving traffic
  • If safe to do so, move your vehicle away from moving traffic
  • Put the hazard lights on the vehicle to warn others

Swap details with the other person

  • Give each other your names, addresses and contact details
  • Swap insurance details
  • If you were driving someone else’s vehicle, pass on their details

Take note of details of the incident

  • If you have a phone then take photos of the vehicles and damage
  • Take note of any witness details
  • Stay out of the way of moving traffic

Within 24 hours of the accident occurring, you are legally required to inform the police if there was another person involved in the collision, no matter how bad the damage is. If the police do not attend the scene then you must call them on 101, or go down to your local police station.

What Do I Do Next?

If your vehicle was damaged beyond repair in an accident then your insurance company will usually classify it as a write-off and pay you off for the vehicle. From here, the best thing to do is have your vehicle scrapped, as it is a quick and easy process and you could earn some money from it. Websites such as can give you a valuation of how much you will receive for scrapping your vehicle, and will collect it and take it to a government-approved scrap yard.

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