What to Do if You’re in an Accident

What to do if you’re in a car accident:

Dial 911. Call for emergency assistance as soon as you are able.

Stay Put or Move Carefully. If you are injured, stay in your car if at all possible and wait for medical assistance.

Even if you do not feel injured, move slowly and carefully. Remember, your body may have suffered trauma from the impact.

Limit Contact with the Other Driver. Other than to determine if anyone is injured, avoid speaking to the other driver. The responding traffic officer will take insurance information. Both drivers must stay with their vehicles until police arrive. Do not agree if the other driver asks permission to leave the scene.

If police do not respond, you will have to speak to the other driver to obtain insurance information. Again, limit your contact and do not make admissions or excuses about your driving.

Witness Information. If any witnesses approach you, take their names, addresses and telephone numbers.

Photos. If you are physically able, or if a friend or family member is available, use your cell phone to take photos of the location of the vehicles after impact, and the damage to the vehicles involved. Also include a side view and a distance shot of the two (or more) vehicles.

Medical Care. If you are injured, go immediately to the hospital by ambulance. Otherwise, go to urgent care for evaluation and treatment. Remember to follow-up with your primary care physician within the time period ordered by the urgent care or hospital physician—usually within a week after the accident.

Photograph your injuries, especially any bruising on your body. These may provide clues to problems that could develop over time.

Contact an Attorney. Contact a personal injury attorney early in the process to help you resolve your accident claim. The staff at Hollingsworth Kelly is experienced in all aspects of personal injury litigation, and we will be with you every step of the way, including helping you determine treatment options, facilitate insurance company communication, and lien resolution, all with the goal of optimizing your recovery and settlement.


This information is provided as a public service by Hollingsworth Kelly and is not intended to serve as legal advice.