Road Safety Week 2023: Five things to do after an RTC

Morton Fraser Paralegal Luke McNaughton
Luke McNaughtan
22 November 2023

Morton Fraser MacRoberts are proud to partner with Brake, the road safety charity.  Brake provide support to those bereaved or seriously injured by road traffic collisions as well as to communities, by helping to make them safer in order to stop the tragedy of unnecessary road deaths and injuries.

The consequences of these collisions range from modest injuries resolving within a period of a few months to permanent disfigurement and disability, and even fatalities. Being involved in a road traffic collision can be a frightening experience, and many do not know what to do in that situation. If you find yourself involved in a road traffic collision it is important that you:-

1. Stay calm and bring your vehicle to a stop as soon as possible.

This may involve proceeding ahead until there is a safe place to stop or pulling into a side street. It is an offence not to stop after a collision. You should turn off the engine and switch on the hazard lights. Being involved in a road traffic collision can be upsetting. It's important to remain calm and not lose your temper. You should be careful to not admit responsibility for the accident until you are fully aware of what happened.

2. Identify and assist any injured persons at the scene.

It may be necessary to call emergency services. If someone is hurt, you should call the police and an ambulance immediately. It's common for injuries to develop in the days following a road traffic collision. If you experience pain related to the crash you should visit your GP or Accident & Emergency. 

3. Exchange details where possible.

Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states:-

"If owing to the presence of a motor vehicle on a road, injury or damage is caused to a third party…then the drivers involved must -

  • Stop;
  • Exchange names and addresses of the drivers of the vehicles;
  • Exchange names and addresses of the owners of the vehicles;
  • Exchange details of registration marks and
  • In the case of injury, produce a valid certificate of insurance"

If the law is not complied with, then drivers must report it at a police station or to a police officer and must do it as soon as is reasonably practicable and within 24 hours of the collision itself.

4. Take stock of what has happened.

Being involved in a road traffic collision can be a frightening experience. It can be useful in the long run if you're able to take note of the circumstances of the accident. It is useful to note down additional details such as any witnesses to the accident; the date and time of the incident; and the driving conditions including weather, lighting, and road quality. You should also take photos of the scene including the damage to the vehicles

5. Seek advice.

It is important that you report any road traffic incidents to your insurer. Even if you don't plan on making a claim for repair costs, it is important that you report the incident as the other driver may make a claim. If there is a claim for compensation arising from the crash, the appropriate next step will be to make contact with a solicitor and to seek advice.

The law in Scotland entitles individuals who are injured as a result of road traffic collisions through no fault of their own, along with those who have lost loved ones due to a collision, to compensation.   If you were involved in a road traffic collision, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries you sustained or the damage to your property.   In order to be successful, it must be established that the collision was caused by the wrongful act of another road user.

If you or a family member require advice following a road traffic crash you have been involved in, you should make contact with a solicitor specialising in personal injury claims.  To seek specific, tailored information on the circumstances of your own potential claim, please contact the Morton Fraser MacRoberts Personal Injury Team, who will be happy to assist further.  Alternatively, please call us on 0131 247 1000 for a free, confidential discussion.


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