1. Safety First
If the car accident is minor, move vehicles out of traffic to a safe place. Shift into park, turn off your vehicle, and turn on the hazard lights. Use cones, warning triangles, or flares for added safety, if you have them.
2. Get Help
- Check for injuries; call an ambulance when in doubt.
- Call the police, even if the accident is minor. A police report can be invaluable to the claim process and help establish who’s at fault.
3. Collect Information
- Gather information from others involved in the accident.
- Drivers and passengers: names and contact information
- Vehicle descriptions (make, model, year)
- Driver’s license numbers
- License plate numbers
- Insurance companies and policy numbers
- Eyewitnesses: names and contact information
- Accident scene location and/or address
- Police officer’s name and badge number.
- Take photos of all vehicles involved and the accident scene, if it is safe to do so.
- Do not sign any document unless it’s for the police or your insurance agent.
- Be polite, but don’t tell anyone the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
4. Seek Medical Attention
- If you are injured, immediately seek medical attention at a local Urgent Care or an Emergency Room facility
5. Contact an Attorney
- You should use the services of an attorney to file a claim.
- You should NOT speak with the other parties’ insurance adjuster.
- There is no benefit in talking to the insurance adjuster from the other side. They are trained to drive down the value of the case by taking advantage of the fact that you might be unrepresented early.