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What to do After a Car Accident (Updated 2017)


Last Updated on July 31st, 2017
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Auto Accidents are unexpected and stressful. Even the most careful drivers may be involved.  Hopefully these tips will give you guidance on what to do after a car accident.

Before the accident

Prepare the trunk of your car for a possible accident as well by making sure you have:

  • A set of cones;
  • Warning triangles; emergency flares;
  • A pen and a card with relevant medical information for you and your family.
  • A copy of our free accident form which can go in your glove compartment and/or our Car Accident App.

What to do after a car accident:

  1. Stay as calm as possible.
  2. Check for injuries. Life and health are more important than damage to vehicles. When in doubt, call an ambulance.
  3. If the accident is minor and there are no serious injuries (meaning only soft tissue injuries), move cars to a safe place, rather than risk being in moving traffic.  If there are serious injuries, do not move the seriously injured person until EMS arrives unless they are in more danger by remaining where they are.
  4. Turn on hazard lights. If warranted, and possible, use cones, warning triangles or flares for safety.
  5. Make sure you get the other driver’s name, address, and insurance information.
  6. Call the police, even if the accident is minor.
  7. Notify your insurance company about the accident immediately.
  8. Don’t sign any document unless it is for the police or for your insurance company.
  9. Make immediate notes about the accident including the specific damages to all vehicles involved.  If the name on the auto registration and/or insurance policy is different from the name of the driver, establish the relationship and jot it down. Get witness information, if possible, as well.
  10. Use your cell phone camera to take pictures of the scene (preferably before the cars are moved), debris in the roadway, the vehicles (inside and out, all around), and the identification cards of the witnesses and other drivers.
  11. Be polite, but don’t tell the other drivers or the police that the accident was your fault, even if you think it was. Likewise, do not accuse the other drivers of being at fault at this time. Everyone is usually shaken up immediately after an accident, and it is wise to state only the facts. Limit your discussion of the accident to the insurance agent and the police. Even if the facts are embarrassing or detrimental to you, be truthful.
  12. If possible, do not leave the accident scene before the police officers and other drivers do.
  13. Finally, remember that while getting the facts is very important, investigating the accident should be left to the police officers, the insurance companies, and your lawyer.
what to do after a car accident pamphlet image

Hopefully these tips of what to do after a car accident will help you in after a car crash.  Other articles you may be interested in:

If you were involved in an accident in Texas, we’ll be happy to mail it to you (together with a host of other free stuff.) You can either email us, call us, or request one of our free consumer reports.