What Do You Do in a Minor Car Accident?


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By Crispin Bateman

on Tuesday 19 March 2019


A car has hit the rear of another

A minor car accident defined

So, what does ‘minor’ mean?

It is very difficult to make a judgement call between what a minor accident and what a major one is. Of course, we can argue that we all know it if we see it, but that doesn’t really hold weight if there’s a disagreement that leads to further action.

“If you’re driving a motorised vehicle and are involved in an accident which causes damage or injury to another person, vehicle, property or animal, (including dogs, horses, cattle and sheep), you must stop and give your vehicle registration along with your name and address to anyone with reasonable grounds to be asking for those details.” – Road Traffic Act (1988)

Note here that the road traffic act doesn’t dictate whether the accident is ‘minor’ or ‘major’ but simply states that if damage is done, you have to stop.

The truth is – there’s really no such thing as a minor car accident, it’s just a car accident.

Do you have to report a minor car accident to police in the UK?

Both the police and your insurance company are going to want to know. While you might believe that it’s a completely unnecessary situation, there’s a chance that it could turn on you - and why take the risk? The police are only going to file knowledge of the situation and the insurance company will do the same – neither taking any further action unless they need to later.

It may seem extreme that you do something as innocuous as scraping a little against someone’s wing mirror and then find yourself on the phone to both the police and your insurance company about it once you return home, but what can happen if you fail to report it?

  • You could be reported by the victim for failing to stop at an accident – this is an offence which leads to a fine and five points on your licence!

  • You could be prosecuted for failure to report an accident – another five points and a fine and maybe even a prison sentence! (Very unlikely in this example, but it does show the seriousness of the crime).

  • You could find yourself on the defending side of a claim for damages.

  • You could even find yourself on the defending side of a claim for personal injury!

Stopping (even if the other car is a parked car with no people about) and making sure you leave your contact and insurance details is going to prevent any future problems.

Why should I tell my insurance company about a minor car accident? Will it affect my policy?

The small print in your insurance documentation that you signed states that you will tell them of any incident, so you’ve already agreed you would!

That aside, the insurance company don’t want to receive a phone call out of the blue making a claim against you. If you do tell them and nothing comes of it, then they won’t hold it against you – if there’s no claim, your no claims bonus will remain unaffected and they’ll be nothing to worry about.

But if there is a claim, you are going to be pleased to have their assistance.

What about minor car accident injuries?

If you have suffered minor accident personal injuries, such as whiplash or bruising, in a car accident that was not your fault then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Remember, there’s no such technical thing as a minor accident, so there is no difference in the procedure for claiming for an accident that seems less than serious than for one that had more involvement from the emergency services.

If you have been involved in a minor accident leading to personal injuries, then give us at Non-Fault Claims a call and we can help you with a personal injury claim for compensation.

I’m from another country – what should I do if I get into a minor car accident in the UK?

Even though you are not from the UK, you should have insurance to cover your visit and your driving in the country.

In all instances, especially if you are from abroad, it is important that you stop, make sure everyone is all right and call the emergency services if not. If it is possible for you all to drive safely away from the accident, then do so and contact the police within 24 hours.

Remember that in the UK we do not use 911 to call the police but use 101 in a non-emergency situation and 999 during an emergency.

If you are driving a hire car, then it is important that you contact the hire company who will work with the insurers on your behalf.

In all other instances, contact the insurer and let them know what has happened.

How can Non-Fault Claims help me if I have had a road traffic accident?

At Non-Fault Claims we specialise in helping you financially recover from a car accident. Our team of professional No Win No Fee solicitors are experts in dealing with road traffic accident situations and can help you with all aspects of a compensation claim from personal injury compensation to getting back on the road as soon as possible with a replacement car.

Unlike your insurance company, we can offer you a like-for-like car replacement – so if you have the whole family with you and you’re in need of a seven-seater, you won’t have to squash them all into the back of a Corsa!

We work on a No Win No Fee basis because we believe that everyone has the right to top-quality legal representation. Under No Win No Fee, we will not charge you a single penny if your claim is unsuccessful and will work to our utmost to help you get the maximum possible compensation award. Our success is tied into your success, as we make our fee through a low percentage cut of the final award value.

How do I report a minor car accident to Non-Fault Claims?

Just give us a call after you have dealt with the police and your insurance company. Our advisors will be able to help you through the initial questions so that we can evaluate the situation and let you know if there’s a likelihood of a successful claim. Once that’s done, you will be passed through to our specialist team for further action.

Fill in our contact form for more information, or, if you want to start a claim give us a call today!

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Non Fault Claims can help you begin your potential claim, get in touch today!