Assuming that you are not too injured to function adequately, move your car out of harm’s way. If it cannot be moved, turn on your hazard lights and use flares or cones to warn oncoming vehicles. If you have no cones or flares, ask other people at the scene if they can loan you any.
If you or anyone else involved in the accident is injured, call 9-1-1, or make sure that someone else does. The 9-1-1 operator will call an ambulance for you, the police, and a fire truck if necessary. The police will also help with calling for a tow truck if your vehicle is unmovable.
While waiting for the police and other services to arrive, exchange contact information with other drivers involved. To make this easy, all the drivers can show each other their driving licenses and vehicle registrations. Also obtain contact information from any witnesses. Make notes about what happened and if you have a camera, take photos of the scene, vehicle damage and injuries. See our blog of March 23 “ Preserving Evidence After a Car Accident” for more on these things.
Dealing With the Police
Answer all questions put to you by the police. There is no need to be defensive in your answers or to accuse anyone else of wrongdoing. You can just be factual and neutral and give clear, straightforward answers. Ask the officer for a copy of the police report when it is ready. If for some reason no police arrive, be sure to file an accident report at a police station as soon as possible.
If a police officer gives you a ticket, go ahead and sign it. You are not admitting any guilt by signing it; you are just agreeing to either pay it later or contest it in court. Wait for a police officer to give you permission before you leave the accident scene.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as you possibly can. Prompt reporting is important as your company may deny coverage if you report it too late.
It is also a good idea to contact a car accident attorney as soon as you can. If you are injured, one of our experienced personal injury lawyers can make your recovery period a lot easier. We can do paperwork for you, deal with your insurance company and any others involved, and provide reassurance that you will not be injured legally on top of everything else.
For a free case evaluation, please contact our auto accident attorneys today.