If you have been involved in a car accident – what happens next? Many people are still in shock and often leave the scene of a road accident with just a name and a phone number of the other driver. It would be nice to think that that this would be enough, but as our clients sometimes find out to their dismay, people don’t always give out their real name or phone number.
If the driver at fault cannot be traced, you may be able to pursue a claim through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB). But this can be a complicated process, so it’s best avoided if possible.
So how can you avoid becoming one of the thousands of people who every year have to submit a claim to the Motor Insurers Bureau because their insurer or Solicitor hasn’t been able to find the driver at fault?
What to Do after a Car Accident
Basically, you need to get the right information at the scene of the accident. After checking that you and your passengers are not seriously injured and that it is safe to get out of your car, you need to note down certain information.
One of the most important pieces of information you can take at a scene of the accident is the registration of the vehicle that hit you. However, even this can have issues, as it’s very easy to make a mistake a ‘1’ for an ‘I’ or an ‘N’ instead of an ‘M’. So it’s best if you are able to take a picture of the registration plate, or if not then double check what you have written.
Once you have the vehicle registration, it’s a good idea to check if the car that hit you is insured. If you have a smart phone you can do this from the roadside using the Motor Insurers Bureau askMID Roadside service. This will show whether the other vehicle is insured and the results can be emailed to you. This can then be verified by asking the other driver for details of who his insurer is, and ideally asking for a copy of his insurance certificate.
Another important bit of information to get is the name of the driver. This is because whilst being able to say which vehicle was involved, difficulties can still arise if the driver can’t be identified. So you should ask for some photo identification, such as a driving license.
If the other driver doesn’t have a driving license on their person, there are other options available. For instance, you could ask for a copy of a bank or credit card. If so, look to record some information from it so that the owner can be traced. After all, knowing that John Smith banks with a large high street bank will not assist in locating him, but knowing his address from a driver’s license or account number from a bank card certainly will.
A good acronym to remember after being involved in an accident is ‘AVID’ which stands for ‘After Vehicle Identify Driver’. By remembering to obtain evidence of the vehicle involved and the driver involved, you have done the most you can to pursue the other driver for your damages.
Please remember though that if you do not feel safe or do not believe you are being given genuine documents or information, you should call the police and they should be able to assist you further.
For free legal advice call our Personal Injury Claims Solicitors on 0330 606 9587 or contact us online and we will call you.