Car Accident Report  & Compensation Claims Specialists

100% No Win, No Fee Claims
Nothing to pay if you lose.

  • Road Traffic Accident victims get maximum compensation
  • Free legal advice from a friendly solicitor.
  • Specialist solicitors with up to 30 years experience
  • Find out if you can claim compensation Call 0800 073 8804

Start My Claim Online

How To Report A Car Accident – A Complete Guide

By Cat Way. Last Updated 23rd February 2024. If you’re involved in a road traffic accident, you might not know when you need to report the incident or who you have to report it to. Do you need to contact the police? Do you need to tell the insurer? It can all be quite confusing. Therefore, in this guide, we’ll aim to clear up the confusion about when and how to report a car accident.

We’ll also look at your right to claim compensation for injuries sustained in an accident if another road user was to blame (or you were only partially to blame). To make things clearer, we’ll also review the types of accidents you have to report, how to report a car accident, and when you need to contact the police.

Legal Expert can help you claim for injuries sustained in a road accident on a No Win No Fee basis. We begin by offering a no-strings-attached assessment of your claim. Our advisors can provide free legal advice and more information regarding when and how to report a car crash.

If you’d like to learn about the key points from this guide, why not check out our video below:

If you’d like to begin a claim right away, please contact our team on 0800 073 8804 today. Otherwise, please continue reading for advice on when you need to file a car accident report.

A woman enquires about how to report a car accident following a crash.

How to report a car accident guide

Select A Section

  1. When Could I Claim For A Car Accident?
  2. Reporting A Car Accident To The Police
  3. Who Do I Report A Car Accident To?
  4. How And When To Report Car Accidents To The MIB
  5. Car Accident Compensation Claims Calculator
  6. Special Damages Car Accident Victims Could Claim
  7. Car Accident Injury Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  8. Essential References

When Could I Claim For A Car Accident?

While using the roads, every road user must navigate in such a way that they avoid causing injury and damage to themselves and others, as per their duty of care. To comply with this duty, road users are expected to adhere to the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code.

If another driver breaches this duty and causes a car accident, you might be eligible to claim compensation. However, you must prove that you meet the personal injury claims eligibility criteria. This means that you need evidence that proves:

  • You were owed a duty of care.
  • This was breached.
  • You suffered injuries as a result.

If you would like to discuss the eligibility criteria in further depth and find out if you could make a claim, please contact an advisor from our team. They can evaluate your case for free, and could potentially connect you with one of our solicitors.

Reporting A Car Accident To The Police

If you’re wondering whether you need to complete a road traffic accident report to the police, it depends on the circumstances of the incident. If you’re involved in an accident that results in personal injury or damage to property, then you need to exchange insurance details with the other driver. If you can’t do this, for example, because they flee the scene, then this should be reported to the police within 24 hours.

Reporting a car accident to the police might also be necessary in other circumstances. For example, you may want to report it if:

  • The road is blocked because of the accident
  • You suspect that the other driver is drunk or on drugs
  • If you suspect that the other driver caused the crash on purpose

We can provide further guidance on how you should complete local accident reports for car accidents. Contact us to find out more.

Who Do I Report A Car Accident To?

It can be difficult to know who to report a car crash to, but reporting your car crash to the correct authorities can have a big impact on your claim.  Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that you must report a car accident that has caused damage or injury to a police constable within 24-hours if details are not exchanged. This can be in person at a police station or via the 101 non-emergency services.

As well as informing the police, you are obliged to provide any details to anybody who has reasonable grounds for requesting them. This could include another driver or somebody whose property has been damaged by the accident.

Finally, you should contact your insurer as soon as possible, even if you don’t intend to make a claim. That’s because the other driver might claim against you so your insurance company must be made aware of the collision.

A car following a crash with a broken bonnet.

How And When To Repot Car Accidents To The MIB

You might think that if you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident or if the other driver is uninsured, then you’d have to claim through your own insurer. However, there is another method of claiming in these scenarios – the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).

Claims through the MIB could mean that you won’t lose your no-claims bonus by claiming against your own policy which could have a big impact on future insurance prices.

The MIB is a scheme run by the insurance industry. According to the Road Traffic Act 1988, all insurers have to be a member of the MIB and help fund it. This ultimately means that law-abiding drivers have an amount added to their premium to fund the scheme.

Our solicitors can help you provide the evidence required by the MIB to claim against their scheme. We can help you claim against uninsured drivers, untraced drivers and even drivers from abroad.

You should try to gather as much evidence about the other vehicle involved where possible. Try to write down the vehicle make, model and colour, and its registration number where possible. Also, record the date and time the accident occurred. The MIB will also require a police reference number so please remember to report the accident to the police as soon as possible.

Reporting A Hit And Run – Can I Claim?

As we have said, you could still be able to claim compensation for injuries caused in a hit and run by claiming through the MIB.

A claim through the MIB works in a similar manner to a regular claim. You will be required to present evidence to the MIB that shows that you were injured due to negligence.

Reporting a hit and run can help you claim this way. A police report of the hit and run can act as supporting evidence in your claim.

There are certain situations where reporting a car accident will be a legal responsibility, such as if the accident causes a blockage in the road or you believe the collision was purposeful.

Please get in touch with our advisers for any more questions you may have about claiming for a hit and run, or whether you will be required to report the crash to the police.

Car Accident Compensation Claims Calculator

This section includes a table that should give you an idea of how much your general damages payment could be worth. This is the part of your settlement that is awarded to reflect how much pain and suffering your injuries have caused you.

The figures in the table below have been taken from the latest edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The amounts, whilst only guidelines, can vary depending on the extent of your injuries. Factors such as how long it takes you to recover, for example, are taken into account. Legal professionals use the JCG, amongst other resources, to aid them in their calculations regarding how much you should receive in general damages. We’ve also included a figure in the top row that shows how much compensation you could be awarded for a successful claim for multiple severe injuries and special damages. This figure is not from the JCG. Additionally, we’ve provided two examples of the whiplash tariffs from the Whiplash Injury Regulations in the bottom two rows.

InjurySeverityNotesCompensation Guideline
Multiple Serious Injuries and Special DamagesVery SevereSettlements could include compensation for more than one injury of a very severe nature and special damages including lost earnings and care costs. Up to £1,000,000+
Brain DamageVery SevereInjuries in this bracket result in severe cognitive and physical disabilities that require full-time nursing.£282,010 to £403,990
Leg InjuriesAmputations (ii)Both legs have been amputated below the knee.£201,490 to £270,100
Back InjuriesSevere (i)These injuries result in severe pain and disability, causing a combination of impairments to the bladder, bowel and sexual function and incomplete paralysis.£91,090 to £160,980
Neck InjuriesSevere (ii)These injuries are considerably severe and may cause permanent brachial plexus damage or substantial loss of neck movement and loss of function in at least one limb.£65,740 to £130,930
Arm InjuriesPermanent and Substantial DisablementThese injuries include serious fractures to either one or both of the forearms and leave behind a significant permanent residual disability.£39,170 to £59,860
Injuries to the Hips and PevlisModerate (i)Although the injury is significant, any permanent disability is not major and the future risk is not great.£26,590 to £39,170
Shoulder InjuriesSeriousThese injuries cause pain in the shoulder and neck, and sensory symptoms in the forearm and hand along with aching in the elbow.£12,770 to £19,200
Whiplash TariffWith Minor Psychological DamageWhiplash alongside minor psychological injuries with symptoms that last between 18-24 months.£4,345
Whiplash TariffWithout Psychological DamageSymptoms of whiplash that last between 18-24 months.£4,215

Compensation is determined by the severity of each injury. Therefore, as part of the claims process, our solicitors will arrange for you to attend a local medical assessment. The specialist who assesses you will review your injuries and ask several questions. Following the appointment, they’ll produce a report that shows what injuries were sustained, how you were affected and if you’ll suffer any long-term symptoms.

Your claim could be impacted by the Whiplash Reform Programme, which changed how some road traffic accident claims are made in England and Wales to reduce car insurance costs. However, certain eligibility criteria applies. One of our advisors can discuss this with you and advise you on what claims process to follow.

Special Damages Car Accident Victims Could Claim

On top of the general damages element of your claim, you can also seek to claim any expenses or costs linked to your injuries. This is known as a special damages claim. There are many different parts to a special damages claim including:

  • Care Costs.
    If your injuries mean you need a carer while you recover (or longer-term), then their fees could be claimed back. If a member of your family looks after you then an hourly rate for their time could be calculated and claimed back too.
  • Medical Expenses.
    While the NHS will usually treat any injuries for free, you might incur costs for prescriptions, medication such as paracetamol or other treatments not provided by the NHS. If that’s the case, you could claim for these costs too.
  • Travel-related Costs.
    If you’re unable to drive while recovering from your injuries, you could claim for the cost of alternative travel arrangements. You could also claim for fuel and parking costs linked to visits to A&E, your GP or the pharmacy.
  • Property Damage.
    You could also ask for any item of damaged personal property to be replaced.
  • Lost Income.
    When you need to take time away from work for medical appointments or to recover, you might be out of pocket if your employer doesn’t pay full sick pay. Therefore, you could ask for these losses back.
  • Future Lost Earnings.
    For longer-term injuries which affect your ability to work, you could ask for future lost earnings to be paid. The amount you’ll receive will be based on how you’ve been affected, your age, salary and job prospects.

You’ll need to prove your expenditures when it comes to recovering special damages. Therefore, we’d recommend that any receipts, wage slips or bank statements are retained to help substantiate your claim.

Car Accident Injury Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you have a valid personal injury claim to make after reporting a crash in a car that harmed you, then you could seek help from a solicitor. If you speak to our advisors, they may connect you with our No Win No Fee solicitors that have experience with car accident claims.

Furthermore, they may offer to represent your claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a type of No Win No Fee arrangement. Under this agreement, you won’t be required to pay any upfront or ongoing fees for their services. You also won’t need to pay your solicitor for their services if your claim is unsuccessful.

If your claim is successful, then the solicitor who supported your claim can take a legally capped percentage from the compensation awarded to you. This is referred to as a success fee.

To learn more about making a personal injury claim with a No Win No Fee solicitor after you report a car accident, contact our advisors. They can provide free advice about your potential claim. You can reach them by:

Two toy cars in front of a solicitor who can help you claim against an insurance company.

Essential References

Thanks for reading this guide about how to report a car accident. We’ve provided some further information for you in the form of more guides and links to external resources below. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, please contact a member of our team.

Whiplash Information – A detailed look at the causes, symptoms and the treatment of whiplash injuries.

The Highway Code – The safety rules which govern the use of roads for all.

Broken Bones – Advice from the NHS on how to tell if you’ve broken a bone which is a common injury following a road traffic accident.

We also have some other guides on car accident claims that you may find useful:

Guide by Hambridge

Edited by Billing

    Contact Us

    Fill in your details below for a free callback

    Meet The Team

    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

      View all posts