10 Steps if You’re in an Accident

  1. Get out of the road as quickly as you can, to maintain your safety. If you or anyone else is injured, call 9-1-1 right away.
  2. If a driver doesn’t stop, photograph their license plate if you can do so safely.
  3. Obtain contact information for witnesses immediately, as witnesses often leave the scene assuming that it is clear as to what happened. It is difficult or impossible to locate witnesses after they have left the scene.
  4. Obtain the other driver’s license, insurance, vehicle registration information, and license plate number.
  5. If there is helpful information, make sure the police officer knows that information as he or she will be evaluating the accident in the Police Report.
  6. If you think you may be injured, get medical attention right away; don’t wait until the shock wears off. Often people realize their injuries in the hours, days and weeks following an accident.
  7. Hire an attorney to help you if you have sustained an injury. Have your attorney handle communications between you and the insurance company to the greatest extent possible. You are not obligated to speak with the other driver's insurance agent. The agent may try to convince you to sign an authorization to obtain all of your medical records, ask for a recorded statement, or even offer to settle quickly for what may be an objectively unreasonable amount. Generally, the insurance agent's goals may be to minimize your injuries, make you appear to be at fault, or to settle your claim quickly for a minimal payment. Be sure to speak to an attorney before you sign anything.
  8. Remember that your own insurance policies may apply to the accident, even if you were the victim of a hit and run accident.
  9. Your insurance premiums should not be increased if the accident was not your fault.
  10. Keep track of your injuries such as by photograph or note. While you may be very mindful of them day by day, they are hard to remember weeks and months later.