Do I Have to Stop After a Car Accident?

Nobody wants to be involved in a car accident. It can be a scary and stressful experience, no matter how many years you have been driving for. In the heat of the moment, you may be tempted to drive away from the accident. If it is only a minor crash, you may not see the point of staying. However, it is important to realise that that is against the law. Let’s take a closer look at what you should do if you have been involved in a car accident.

Car Accidents and the Law

Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 makes it clear that if you are the driver of the vehicle, you have to stop if there has been a crash. This should be at the scene and it does not matter how serious the collision or accident is. In addition, it does not matter who is to blame for the accident. You must stop if there is damage to another vehicle, someone’s property or to an animal.

If you do not stop after an accident, you can face serious consequences. If you are found guilty of driving away from an accident, you can spend up to six months in prison as the punishment. In addition, you may receive a hefty fine to pay and you may be banned from driving.

What to Do After a Car Accident

After you have been involved in a car accident, find a safe space where you can pull over off the road if this is possible. For example, into a layby or the hard shoulder. Ensure that you switch on your hazard lights. Everybody should step out of the vehicle if there are no injuries. If there are injuries sustained during the accident, it’s recommended that you call emergency services.

You are required to give your name and address to the other party after the accident. In addition, it may be necessary to give your vehicle’s registration number. It is important to remember that this your car details are only necessary if somebody has been injured. Otherwise, you do not have to legally give this information.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 makes it clear that you must report the car accident within 24 hours. This should be done to your local police station. You can do this by visiting your station or by calling 101.

It is best to take as many notes as you can about the car accident. This is all going to be useful later on if you have to make an insurance claim. For example, photographs on your mobile phone are recommended. Make sure that you do not admit guilt at the scene. This is something that should be left for the police to decide, as well as your insurance company later on.

Making an Insurance Claim

If your car has been damaged in the crash or you have sustained injuries, making an insurance claim can be beneficial. This is going to help you pay for repairs, as well as possibly cover time you need off your work to recover.

Always make sure you clear explain what has happened in the accident. If it was not your fault, make sure you gather all of your evidence. Your insurance company is going to decide who is at fault for the accident. In other words, if you are not responsible for the accident and it was not your fault, you can claim the costs of repair and other payments you have had to make.

After the crash, you should always gather as much information as possible to give to your insurance company. For example, this should include writing everything down about the scene, such as the time, location, weather conditions and estimated speed you were traveling at. The contact details and description of the other party is useful, as well as photographs of the damage to your car and any injuries that were sustained.

An insurance company will take a look at your car after the accident. For example, if your car has been badly damaged, they may decide it is not worth repairing. Instead, the car is written-off. You will be given the market value of your vehicle at the time of the crash.

It is difficult to estimate how long an insurance claim will take. However, you should not expect it be a quick pay-out. There are many things that can slow a claim down. For example, if there is poor communication between you and your insurance company, this will cause delays. Make sure that you always respond straight away to their questions. In addition, if there is disagreement over who is at fault for the accident, this is something that will slow down the insurance claim.