What to do if you are in a Traffic Accident


It happens so quickly. One minute you're driving down the highway and then suddenly…you've been in an auto accident. Each year over 6 million motor vehicle accidents occur in the United States. Unfortunately, with a number like this there's a chance that someone you know may be involved in an accident. Do you know what to do after the fact to protect your rights? Follow these steps to ensure the aftermath goes as smoothly as possible.  

  • Stop your car. You are legally required to stop at the scene or near the scene of an accident. Failure to stop could result in a hit-and-run citation and much harsher penalties. If necessary, move your car out of the way of other traffic to prevent another accident. Otherwise, let your car sit where it is located. Have someone put out flares or reflectors to warn other motorists.

  • Call the police and call an ambulance if necessary. Once the officer arrives, cooperate with the officer by advising him or her of the facts. If you receive medical attention make sure that emergency medical technicians clearly document your symptoms and injuries to avoid any problems later.

  • Exchange information with the other driver. Do not make any statements to the other driver about the cause of the accident. Simply obtain the name, address, driver's license number, license plate number and the registration number of the other vehicle involved. Collect all insurance information including company name, address and policy number.

  • Write down the names and addresses of all witnesses who may have information about the accident.

  • Note the time of day, lighting conditions (day, dusk, night), road conditions and the location of the accident to help determine liability. Photo or video of the accident scene may help you explain the way the accident occurred. It may help to later take photos or video from all angles of the damage to your vehicle and keep a copy of the damage report. If you suffer any injuries, keep a log indicating your pain and any financial losses.

  • An arrest at the accident scene of anyone involved in the accident doesn't necessarily indicate liability. Statements made by these parties could be used as an admission, so it is important to consult with a lawyer before making any statements, especially to insurance personnel.
  • Refrain from posting any photos or comments on Facebook or any other social media site, since any photos or comments may be harmful if taken out of context.

  • Promptly inform your insurance agent or company of the accident. Failure to do so may affect your rights. Provide a statement only to your own insurance company and not to any other insurance carriers.

  • If the accident results in serious injury or death, consult an attorney who handles personal injury cases.


About Us Our Offices Contact Us

Areas of Practice Frequently Asked Questions Home


© 2011-2016. All Rights Reserved.