Exchanging details after a car accident

A damaged car

Print out a traffic accident record to keep in your car to make sure you remember to collect all the important details in the event of an incident.

No-one wants to think about having a car accident, but the fact is that if you drive, it’s a possibility you should be prepared for.

Download a traffic accident recordRegardless of who was at fault, knowing what to do in the immediate aftermath will make sure everyone gets the medical attention and information they need and will help a resultant car insurance claim run smoothly.

Make sure you know what to do after an incident and print out our traffic accident record to help you collect all the important details.

Don’t fail to stop

It’s extremely important that you stop to exchange details if you have an accident - fail to do so and you’ll be committing a criminal offence.

If you’re in a road traffic accident that results in any sort of damage to property or injury, or you kill or injure certain animals including farm animals and dogs, you must stop.

This includes causing damage to things like street signs or bollards, so even if another vehicle isn’t involved, you’re required to report the accident.

If you can’t stop at the scene for any reason, you must report the incident to the police as soon as you can and within 24 hours.

Failure to stop and failure to report carry penalties such as fines, points, driving bans or even up to six months imprisonment.

Check for injuries

Once you’ve stopped at the scene, the first thing to do is to check whether you or anyone else is injured and to get them the medical attention they need.

As well as calling an ambulance if necessary, if anyone is injured you must also call the police.

Exchange details

Legally there are certain details you must give at the scene of an accident or, if that’s impossible, give them to the police within 24 hours.

Print out our handy traffic accident record to keep in your car - that way you’ll have a reminder of everything you need to write down and to give to any other drivers involved.

Download a traffic accident record

It’s important that you don’t admit liability at this stage - your insurance policy wording may have a clause saying that you must not and that you could affect any subsequent claim if you do.

Once you’ve collected all the details of an accident, tell your insurer about it as soon as possible so you can start the process of making a claim.

By Derri Dunn