Whether you have been involved in or witnessed a bump on the road or a catastrophic collision, car crashes can be very traumatic.

It can be hard to remember what steps to take before you leave the scene and begin to recover from the situation. 

 Legal experts at High Rise Legal Funding, have compiled a list of the most important steps to take. Whether you are at fault or not or are just a witness, here is what to do.  It may be useful for you and you pupils to keep this handy. 

Assess the situation

If you have been involved in an accident, the first step is to take a second to breathe and check yourself for injuries. Check on other passengers in your vehicle if you can.

With anyone in the vehicle fearing they might be injured, you or a bystander should call the emergency services for assistance.  

As a witness, you’ll be more likely to think with a level head than those involved directly in the incident. So be there to offer your support if needed, after assessing the danger of the environment around you.

With any party in the collision or crash injured, or feeling like they could be hurt, ringing 999 is essential. This way, the paramedics will be able to assess the injured party; remember, not all injuries are surface level, and there could be trauma to the body internally. 

The police are often called to car crashes so they can aid both parties in figuring out what has happened. They can be there to help reduce any traffic build-up or concerned bystanders that are present.  

 If the collision or crash is one of which both parties have established who is at fault and no one is injured or hurt, emergency services may not be needed, and the next steps can be taken. 

Get to a safe spot   

Get yourself and any passengers out of the vehicle if you can, moving to the sidewalk or roadside where you are out of the way of oncoming traffic.

If the incident has occurred in a dangerous stretch of road, or somewhere where it could be hazardous, move the vehicle out of the way to a safer spot if it is possible do so.  

Make sure you turn on your hazard lights if you can and use the flares in your emergency kit to notify other upcoming vehicles to slow down; most cars come equipped with these kits. 

 Ensure you only accept help from the emergency services. It is common for scammers in tow trucks to offer assistance but, in return, end up taking the vehicle and demanding a payout. 

If you have moved away from the vehicle, it also gives a safer opportunity to take photos of the vehicle(s) and document the incident while you wait for help. It is advised to talk to any witnesses who might have seen the accident who are willing to offer a statement. Jot down their contact information.  

 Do you need assistance?

If you are medically OK and don’t need medical help, you might still need to contact the police. Calling the police after a collision or crash is a legal requirement in some situations.The officers will arrive to document the scene, take statements and fill in an accident report, but if the police, for some reason, cannot make it to your location, you can go to the nearest station and complete the procedure there.  

Remember to keep those reports and documents safe, as if you file a claim with your insurer, they might want a copy to help with their proceedings. 

Information exchange

Providing all parties to the incident are present, you should exchange insurance and contact information as soon as possible. The information which is most important to decipher is: 

  • Other parties’ full name, number and or email  
  • Driver’s licence number plate and driver’s licence details 
  • Insurance company and policy number 
  • Type of car, including both model and colour 
  • Location of the incident 


If you suspect any form of road rage or drinking under the influence to have played a part in the incident, it is vital that you take caution in how you talk to the other party. They might be hostile, angry, or even violent. Keeping yourself and any children or elderly people with you safe should be your priority. 

The insurance company will be able to determine who is at fault by assessing the damage to the vehicles. They will also gather each party’s information, any other documents given, and police reports from the scene. This is why it is advised for both drivers and passengers to avoid talking about who is at fault as this can lead to altercations and other complications that are not needed.  

Don’t make any deals with the other driver 

Making a deal in exchange for cash after a road traffic accident is ill-advised. Opting to settle the accident privately without the input of an insurance company or lawyer could leave you in more trouble down the line. The safest bet is always to involve your insurance company or a lawyer. 

 Contact your insurer  

If you can, contact your insurance company while you are still at the scene. Some insurance providers have an app where you can report a claim. They can tell you what they require to start the process and offer help directly.  

You insurers can also be a great help in helping you with all aspects at the scene of a crash. You pay them, so why not use their services.