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12 steps if you’re involved in a car accident

By Russell Wilson
19th September 2023

What to do if you're involved in a car accident.

Being involved in a car accident can be a horrible experience. It can cause you a mixture of shock, adrenaline, pain and stress.

The best advice we can offer is to remain calm. We’ve created 12 steps to help you remain calm and collect the information you’ll need to make a claim. Call us on 01727 222 770 anytime

The 12 steps can be used for small bumps and scrapes and a car crash.

  1. 1. Pull over safely if you are able

    If you are confident that your car is still safe to drive try to move out of the way of any further danger and make it easier to inspect your car.

  2. 2. Stop the car

    If you fail to stop after an accident you could be charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

  3. 3. Switch on your hazard lights

    By turning on your hazard lights, you’re warning other drivers that there could be debris or an obstruction on the road.

  4. 4. Check for any injuries

    Once you’ve stopped, check yourself for any injuries. These injuries might not be apparent straight away due to shock and adrenaline.

    Call 999 if anyone is seriously injured.

  5. 5. Check any passengers for injuries and get them out of the car if safe to do so

    Check whether you or anyone else is injured. Get them the medical attention they need it.

    Call 999 if anyone is seriously injured.

  6. 6. Try to remain calm

    Before talking to anyone involved in the accident, take several deep breaths to slow your breathing down to reduce shock, adrenaline and stress.

  7. 7. Do not admit fault

    Although saying sorry, even in passing, isn’t a legal admission of guilt, it could be used against you if you were to make a claim.

  8. 8. Exchange details

    Share details with the other driver, including:

    • - Name, address and contact details
    • - Insurance details
    • - Car registration details
    • - The car owner’s/registered keeper’s name
    • - If you hit a stationary unattended vehicle, you should leave your details on their windscreen
  9. 9. Take note of the scene of the accident, date, time, weather and damage

    Take down as much information as possible, rather than trying to remember retrospectively. It’s useful to carry a pen and notepad in your glovebox to take down any notes.

  10. 10. Take photos

    As well as taking down any notes, take photos of any injuries and damage to your car.

  11. 11. Talk to any witnesses

    Ask any witnesses for their contact information.

  12. 12. Report the accident

    You need to let The Green Insurer know about any accident, regardless of who was to blame and even if you don’t want to make a claim.


Do I need to report minor car accidents to the police?

No, unless:

  • If anyone is injured.
  • If the accident has blocked the road.
  • If the other vehicle failed to stop.
  • If you suspect the other driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • If the other driver won't give their insurance details or you think they may be uninsured.
  • If you suspect that the other driver caused the collision deliberately.
What happens if the car accident wasn’t my fault?

Our dedicated claims team will contact the at-fault driver’s insurer to reclaim costs for any repairs to your car, or injury to you. If you have our motor legal expenses cover, this can be used to pay for the legal costs to recover other expenses you have incurred because of an accident which wasn’t you fault. This can include things like loss of earnings.

If the at-fault party can’t be identified and there’s no one to make the claim against, you’re liable. This could be that the at-fault driver drives off, or if an animal jumps in front of your car.

Will a non-fault accident affect my insurance?

A non-fault accident will impact your insurance. Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, it’ll be recorded on your claims history.

Do I need to declare a non-fault car accident?

Yes, you must declare all car accidents. That includes non-fault accidents, even if you aren’t going to claim. Failing to report an accident could void your insurance policy.

How do I know who is at fault for a car accident?

You’ll be updated during the claims process who is at fault, based on all the evidence that has been collected.

What if the other driver didn’t stop?

If possible make a note of the vehicles registration, make and model.

Check for any other witnesses, if they have a dashcam that could have seen the incident, make notes of what has happened and your location, the incident could be on CCTV.

Report the accident to the police.

How long do I have to report a car accident to The Green Insurer?

Within 24 hours of the accident happening where possible.

What to do if you accidentally damage a parked car?

Driving away is a criminal offence, you should leave your contact details with the driver or If you hit a stationary unattended vehicle, you should leave your details on their windscreen. You can report the incident to the police on 101.

What should I do if someone has damaged my parked car and driven off?

Make a note of when the car was parked and when the damage was found, take photos of the damage. Check for any CCTV cameras in the area. Report the incident to our claims team.

What if I hit an animal?

You’re legally required to tell the police if you hit a horse, cattle, donkey, mule, sheep, pig, goat or dog. If the animal is obstructing a road or highway, you must report it to the police.

If the animal is a pet, you could, with caution, check for collar tags with the owner’s details and contact information on them.

If you can’t locate the owner, you could take the animal to a vet for treatment and to be scanned for a microchip.