Road Traffic Accidents

What is a Road Traffic Accident?

A road traffic accident (RTA) is an incident which involves any form of motorised road vehicle. The vehicle may be involved in a collision with another vehicle, a pedestrian, any other object or an animal which is in the road. An RTA can be major or minor.

What is the Procedure Following an RTA

After an RTA, it is important to collect as many details as possible about the accident. These details will help the police and insurance providers to identify who was responsible for the accident. The person who was responsible may then be held liable for the damages. For this reason, it is important that you call the police as soon as you are involved in an accident. If you are not able to contact the police from the scene of the incident, you must contact them within 24 hours.

You should take pictures of the damage if you are able to, and you must visit a medical professional as soon as you can. The photos and medical reports may be used to support your claim if you have to make one. Even if you do not want to make a claim, you are obliged to tell your insurance provider about the accident.

Are the Drivers involved Insured?

In the United Kingdom, it is possible to check whether a vehicle is insured by using the askMID website database. You can check that your own vehicle is insured for free; however you are required to pay a £4 fee per vehicle if you want to check on the insurance of another vehicle which was involved in the RTA.

Uninsured drivers can face a fixed penalty fine of £300 and they may get penalty points on their license. If an uninsured driver is taken to court, they may face an unlimited fine and be disqualified from driving. An uninsured vehicle may also be impounded and destroyed. If the other driver was uninsured, then it may still be possible to make a claim.

The best way to make a claim if you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver is to go through the Motor Insurers Bureau.

Accidents caused by Sudden Illness

If you are involved in an accident which was caused by sudden illness of a driver, then things become a little bit more complicated. The driver is only likely to be prosecuted if the incident was caused by a known illness which should have excluded them for driving. However, if you were the victim of this sort of accident, you may still be able to make a claim for compensation.

If you have been involved in this sort of accident, whether as the driver who fell ill, or someone else who was affected by the incident, then you should contact a solicitor to discuss your rights and responsibilities.

Formalities and Legal Process

After an RTA, you should find out if there were any witnesses. These people can help to establish who was responsible for the incident. After this sort of incident, both parties will normally be sent a letter from their insurance provider or a legal representative. This will discuss what will happen going forward. Failure to acknowledge this letter can lead to the commencement of formal legal processes. The case may even end up in court.

Other Road Users involved in an RTA

If any other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorbike riders, are involved in the incident, then they have the same rights and responsibilities as car drivers. They are entitled to make a claim if they want to.