What To Do After An Automobile Accident

Law Blog

Understanding what to do after an automobile accident can help save time and money and help you build a strong case. Automobile accidents are often terrifying, and the mix of fear and adrenaline can make people do things that are not in their best interest. Taking some time now to learn how to react to automobile accidents will help you in the event that you are in one.

Stay on the Scene of the Accident

Don't leave the scene of the accident until after you've spoken with the police and they've said you're cleared to leave. Leaving before you've been cleared can result in criminal charges if someone was injured or killed in the car accident.  

While you're on the scene, the first thing you should do is check on all drivers to ensure they are safe and okay. If any of the drivers requires medical attention, call 911 immediately. If someone is unconscious, don't move them, unless they are in harm's way.

Call the Police As Soon As Possible

After you've made sure everyone is safe, call the police. Even if you're in a fender bender, it's still a good idea to have a police report. You should absolutely call the police if there is significant damage, an injury or a death. In addition to gaining a copy of the police report, write down the name and badge number of the officers.

Exchange Pertinent Information

You'll need to exchange information with everyone involved in the car accident. Types of information you should exchange include:

  • Full legal names
  • Home addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Drivers' license numbers
  • License plate numbers
  • Insurance information

If any passengers were involved, take down all of their information as well. If there were any witnesses, take down their information and ask for their account of what happened.

Take Plenty of Pictures

It's the age of smartphones, so put yours to work for you. Take plenty of videos and pictures that highlight the damage and the overall situation. If you take a video, you can describe what happened on the video.

Tell Your Insurance Company

Immediately after you've left the scene, or even while you're still there, call your insurance company and let them know that you were involved in an automobile accident. Clearly explain the facts; leave out emotion. Avoid brushing over any details, and certainly don't outright lie about what happened. Lying to the insurance company can land you in serious trouble, which may include the insurance company not covering the accident.


12 September 2017