Important steps to follow after a car accident

Michael James

Car accidents often require diligent follow-up information with authorities.


Being involved in a car accident can be frightening. In addition to the physical damage to your vehicle, you and your passengers may have sustained injuries.

If you’ve never been involved in an accident, you may not know what to do. Below are the steps to take after a car accident and how a personal injury attorney can help.

Car accidents often require diligent follow-up information with authorities.
Car accidents often require diligent follow-up information with authorities.

Make Sure Everyone is Alright

If you aren’t injured, make sure the other driver and their passengers are safe. If anyone is injured, call paramedics immediately.

If you were injured, you’ll need to report it to your insurance company. If the need arises, hire a personal injury attorney. Sometimes, injuries develop hours or days after the initial impact.

Contact the Authorities

If the accident is minor and your car is still operational, pull over to a safe area and call 911. There is always the possibility the other driver’s vehicle is damaged and they’re seriously injured.

You should always call 911 and file a police report, even if the accident isn’t too serious and you’ve exchanged insurance information. 

In fact, calling 911 after a car accident is mandated in some areas.

If a report isn’t filed, you could face legal consequences. Filing an accident report makes it easier for both the authorities and insurance companies to determine who is at fault.

Exchange Insurance Information

Always make sure to exchange insurance information with the other driver. This ensures each insurance company can pay for the damages, according to coverage.

Here’s what to look out for when exchanging insurance information: 

* The full name and contact information of the other driver

* The name of their insurance company

* Their insurance policy number

*The license plate number

*Their driver’s license

* The model of their car

* What type of car it is

* The color of the vehicle

* Where the accident occurred

What to Do if Someone Drives Off After the Accident

In some cases, the other driver might leave the scene immediately after the accident occurs, making it impossible to exchange information.

Here’s what you need to do if someone drives off after a collision:

Call 911 immediately and explain what happened

* Try to locate a few witnesses

* Take pictures of the scene as well as any damage your car sustained

* File a report about the hit and run within 24 hours

* Contact your insurance company


Leaving the scene of a car accident is illegal. Not reporting an accident may increase your insurance premium and you may also be held liable for the accident.

Take Note of The Accident

Sadly, not all car accidents have a peaceful ending. The other driver may blame you for causing the accident. This happens more often than you’d think, so you’ll need to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.

When authorities arrive, ask for the name and badge number for every officer involved. In addition, ask for a copy of the police report as your insurance company will need it.

If possible, take pictures of the entire accident scene. They can help you should the other driver take you to court.

If there were witnesses, talk to them to get their side of the story. To be safe side, it’s in your best interest to hire your local area’s best car accident lawyer.

Car accidents are as scary as they are dangerous. Following these steps can help make things easier for you. Contact a car accident lawyer for legal advice and to represent you if you are taken to court.

Article Last Updated: January 14, 2020.

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