What should I do if I am involved in a car accident?

No matter who is at fault, being involved in a car accident is definitely stressful. Taking the proper steps after a car accident is crucial to ensure the safety of all involved. It will also help you make a case for negligence, either to an insurance company or in court, if you believe another driver was responsible for what occurred.

Check for injuries

Accidents can be hectic, so the first step to take is to check yourself and your passengers for any injuries. Even minor injuries should be assessed by a medical professional, while serious injuries should be treated by emergency medical personnel.

Get your car to safety

If there are no injuries and you are able to, move your car to the side of the road. Leaving your vehicle in the middle of traffic can result in more injuries and property damage. If your vehicle is not operational, leave it where it is and take steps to alert other drivers if you can do so safely. You can set up flares or traffic cones in this case.

Contact the police

The police can help direct traffic around the scene and ensure the safety of those involved and other motorists. Police will also document what occurred, which will be used to create a police report. You can request a copy of this report for your own records. Because it presents an unbiased version of events, it is useful for establishing fault.

Exchange information

Provide your name and insurance info to any other drivers involved, while also requesting their information. Be careful about what you say when exchanging info. Even a seemingly harmless statement can be considered an admission of guilt.

Take notes (and photos)

Document the scene; jot down the location, time of day, road conditions, and any other information. If possible, take photos of the scene and damage to vehicles. This information can be beneficial when filing an insurance claim.