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Do you need to make a claim

Car accidents are traumatic experiences that can often leave you in shock. Knowing what to do after an incident – and how to claim on your car insurance – will help you take the correct steps to stay on the right side of the law and make sure your claim is paid.

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1. Stop

No matter how small the accident, you must stop – otherwise you’re breaking the law. Turn off your engine, turn your hazard lights on and check yourself and passengers for any injuries.

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2. Call the
emergency services

If anyone is hurt, you should call an ambulance. You need to call the police if the road is blocked or if someone leaves the scene without sharing their contact details. If you think the other driver is under the influence of drink or drugs, or if you think they caused the accident deliberately, you should also alert the police.

If it’s just a small bump, you should notify the police within 24 hours – but make sure you use the non-emergency 101 number.

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3. Exchange
contact details

You’re obliged to leave your contact details when you’re involved in a car accident, so make sure you swap details with the other driver. The key information you need for a car insurance claim is:

  • Car registration number
  • Name, address and telephone number of the other driver
  • Their car insurance details
  • The names of passengers
  • The contact details of any witnesses

You are legally obliged to leave your contact details with anyone affected by the accident, regardless of whether they were at the scene of the incident. For example, if your car hit someone’s property, you would need to leave your details somewhere the property owner can find them.

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4. Assess
the scene

If you can, take photos of the scene and any damage immediately after the accident. This will help support your car insurance claim.

Make a note of the following:

  • The colour, make and model of all vehicles involved
  • The date and time of the accident
  • The address of the accident
  • A description of weather conditions, the state of the road and any street lighting
  • A list of damage done to any vehicles and property
  • Details of any injuries to drivers, passengers and pedestrians

In the chaos that follows a car accident, it’s not always obvious what caused the crash. Try to avoid taking responsibility for the accident at this point because if it turns out you weren’t to blame, it could complicate the car insurance claims process.

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