You’ve Had an Auto Accident: What Do You Do Now? | DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog

Experts estimate that there are approximately 6.4 million car accidents in the United States every year. At that rate, we can predict that just about everyone will be involved in a car accident at some point in his or her lifetime. However, most people do not know what to do – or not do – after a car accident.

When in an accident, experts advise that you should take the following measures:

  • First make sure that you and your passengers are not injured;
  • Move your vehicle out of the roadway if it is safe to do so, and remain as far from the roadway as possible;
  • Activate your hazard lights or flares to warn oncoming traffic;
  • Call the police;
  • Do not admit fault;
  • Exchange names, phone numbers, addresses, tag numbers, and insurance information with all other drivers;
  • Obtain the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident;
  • Contact your insurance company.

It is also a good idea to prepare for the worst when you take to the road.  Edmunds.com includes the following suggestions for what you should keep in your car at all times:

  • An Accident Checklist to use as a guide for obtaining complete information from other drivers;
  • A disposable camera to take pictures of the accident scene;
  • A card noting medical conditions or allergies that you and your family or passengers may have;
  • A set of flares, cones, or warning triangles in the trunk of your car.