Motor vehicle accidents


Motor vehicle accidents occur frequently in the UK. Whether it is a minor or a serious accident, and whether or not there is damage to property or person, there are certain things that you should keep in mind if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident.

What you should do if you are in an accident

Stop at the scene of the accident. The law requires you to stop at the scene of a motor vehicle accident if there is:

  • An injury
  • Damage to someone's vehicle or property
  • An animal which has been injured or killed
  • A fixed object such as a lamp-post which has been damaged

Exchange details with the other driver concerned. You are legally required to hand over your detail if asked, and vice versa. You should obtain the:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Registration number
  • Insurance details

Inform the police. This is essential if someone has been injured, if one of the drivers is unable to produce an insurance certificate at the scene of the accident or if you are unable to swap details with the other driver at the scene

Take notes of details of the motor vehicle accident. Include:

  • The car make
  • Model
  • Registration number
  • The time and date of the accident
  • The weather conditions
  • Estimated speeds
  • The number of passengers in the vehicles
  • Witnesses
  • Details of damage done to the vehicles and injuries to persons involved

If there was any damage to property or personal injury it is wise to get in touch with a specialist solicitor to discuss compensation. If you can prove that your property damage or injury was at least partly because of another driver's negligent driving, you may be able to claim compensation.

If other road or environmental factors contributed to the accident, such as poorly maintained roads or unmarked hazards, you may have a claim against the local authority or relevant body.


Motor accidents generally involve straightforward claims at no cost to the claimant, particularly as solicitors in motor accidents often operate on a 'no-win, no-fee' basis, and in most cases the question of liability is straightforward.

There are some complications however, for example, if you are partially responsible for the motor accident then there is a question of how much your damages should be reduced by due to you own negligence. An example of this is:

  • Not wearing a seat belt
  • A passenger voluntarily sitting with a drunk driver

Any claim for compensation should be made within three years of the accident, or in the case of a child, before their 21st birthday. The courts can grant an extension to this limitation in certain circumstances, for example:

  • Being away as part of the armed forces
  • Being incapable of bringing forward a claim because you were induced into a coma

It is important to appoint an experienced motor accidents solicitor who will be able to ensure that you are receiving the amount of compensation you are entitled to.

Do you need a motor accident solicitor to help you file a personal injury claim? The process is straightforward and most solicitors on Contact Law’s recommended panel operate on a no-win-no-fee basis. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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