Accidents happen - even to the most careful drivers. Knowing what to do after an accident will help you to remain calm and in control. It can also help you get back on the road faster. Take a moment to review our accident checklist, so you’re prepared in the event of an accident.
In case you are in an accident, keep this checklist in your car:
Immediately After the Accident
- Stay safe. Assess the situation for your immediate safety. Stay in your car if there is a risk of injury or if moving might put you at risk of further injury.
- Move to a safe location if your car is creating a safety hazard or obstructing traffic.
- Do not leave the scene of the accident!
- Determine if there are any injuries.
- Call 911 immediately to report the accident and get help to the scene, if needed.
- Follow any instructions the police give you.
- Call your insurance company.
- Follow any instructions given to you by your agent.
- Request a tow through your insurance company, if possible.
- Note the name of the tow company and location to which your vehicle is towed
At the Scene: Gather Information
Be courteous and polite, but do not admit fault. Take the names, contact information and car insurance information of any drivers involved in the accident. Get names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident. Provide your name and insurance information to the police and to other driver(s).
Protect Your Identity! Give out ONLY the following information: your name, your vehicle’s make, model, year, color and VIN, the name of your insurance company (agent's name and phone, policy number), and DO NOT allow your license or registration to be photographed.
At the Scene: Document the Accident
If you have a smart phone or camera, take photos to document the scene if it is safe to do so. Include pictures of: license plates of involved vehicles, damage to your vehicle, damage to other vehicles, damage to property other than vehicles, objects at the scene (accident debris, skid marks, fallen branches, etc.), street signs or other landmarks to identify the accident location, and any contributing factors to the accident (such as obscured traffic signs).
Write down: time and date of accident, weather and traffic conditions, description of the accident, description of injuries and damage, details of police or emergency involvement (officers name and badge number as well as the responding county/city).