What to do in an Accident

Whether it's your first accident, or you've been in a few, keep these simple steps in mind when dealing with an accident:

SHORT LIST:

1. Get to a safe location so no there is no further risk of injury or accident

2. Call the police to the scene to make a report

3. Gather driver information and witness information

4. Take pictures of EVERYTHING (scene, cars, damage, injuries, people)

5. Contact your lawyer to get the process started

6. Do NOT make statements to insurance companies without first consulting your lawyer

long list

1. Before the accident: Be Prepared

  • Always have a way to take notes in case of an accident
    • This can either be a pen & paper, or note taking application on a cell phone
  • Have hazard cones or flares to place around your vehicle/you in case of emergency

2. Immediately after the accident

  • Call the police and ask for assistance.
    • Some police departments will not send an officer to the scene unless there are injuries. If this is the case, do not lie to the police just to get an officer to the scene, but explain any injuries or potential injuries you have over the phone, and restate your request for an officer at the scene.
  • Check for injuries - take note of everything that hurts
  • When safe, take pictures of the damages to all vehicles/property, the scene, the directions each car was facing, all traffic signs/signals, and hazards
  • Gather information from all parties.
    • Start with people who are most important (usually the other driver(s)),
    • Then with people who might leave before you get a chance to take their information (witnesses).
  • Information you should get from the other driver(s):
    • Driver's License (a picture is best)
    • Insurance Information (a picture is best)
    • Car Registration Information (a picture is best)
    • Telephone Number
    • License Plate Number

3. Other important tips

  • Do not admit fault
  • Do not sign documents unless its for the Police
  • Make immediate notes about the accident, including damages, witness information, directions, destinations, and other important facts
  • Be polite, even to the other driver. Remember: everyone was involved in the accident, there's typically no reason to make the situation worse by adding a temper. PLUS - if you're nice, people are usually more willing to tell you everything, rather than guard against your questions.