10 Things You Should Do After a Car Accident


Just like a “minor surgery” there is no such thing as a “minor car accident” if you’re the one involved. No matter what type of accident you have, it is going to be a traumatic event, but things like lawsuits and other complications can make a car accident a life changing event. Even if the accident isn’t “serious,” it can lead to serious consequences, so make sure to do the following in the event of a car accident:

Stay calm

This is the hardest top to follow because after an accident your adrenaline will be pumping and you will be very upset. This can lead to a state of panic, which won’t help anyone-particularly you. Take a couple of deep breaths right after the accident and remind yourself of what you need to do.

Remember to conduct yourself with dignity and treat the other person the same way, even if the accident was their fault. Never berate or insult the other driver; we all make mistakes and they are just as traumatized (if not more so) than you, so there is no reason to shame them.


Leaving the scene of an accident is not only dangerous, it’s also illegal. You may have hidden injuries or your car may have been damaged so much that it could cause a second accident. Fleeing the scene only makes you look guilty-and keeps you from telling your side of the story.

Make sure everyone is OK

Other than keeping calm, this is the most important thing you can do in an accident.You can replace a damaged vehicle or even spend money on attorneys or lawsuits, but you can’t replace your (or friends and/or family’s) health.

Check on everyone at the scene and make sure they are OK; if they are hurt and you know basic first aid, render it, but don’t move anyone injured badly as doing so can cause further injury.

Be sure to take stock of the entire situation before beginning to help people that are injured; you are going to need to give 9-1-1 the information so that they send an appropriate amount of ambulances and/or fire equipment to help everyone involved.

Call the police

Some people will be reluctant to report an accident because they are afraid that their insurance premiums will go up or they don’t want to get a ticket (if they were at fault). These people will often offer to pay for any damage out of pocket in exchange for not reporting it to the authorities. Never do this. A police report is a legal document detailing what happened and can be invaluable in protecting you from future lawsuits or court cases. In addition, without a police report, you have no proof that the accident actually took place-meaning that the other party can simply refuse to pay you and there is nothing you can do about it.

Don’t admit fault

Everyone makes mistakes, and you may be involved in an accident that is clearly your fault. Your first instinct will be to apologize, especially if the other person points out that you were at fault. Avoid doing this, as an admission of guilt can be used later in a lawsuit.

Take pictures

A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure to get photographic evidence of the damage done to each of your cars. Make sure to take pictures of the scene to accompany the police report in telling your story.

Keep a record

It’s easy to lose police reports or delete pictures from your phone, so take precautions against this by keeping a detailed file folder complete with details of your accident. Make copies of all the reports related to the accident such as police reports and insurance information and print out any pictures.

Make sure the scene is safe

The last thing you want to do is cause another accident by sitting in the middle of the road. If you can do so safely, move your vehicles out of the line of traffic (after you snap a couple of quick pictures for your records). Turn your hazard warning lights on and if necessary, put out road flares. This is especially important at night or other times when visibility is low.

This article is written by Westbrook Julian, a writer and editor with the precious contribution of David Ruben who is an accident attorney in Baltimore, to get people to adopt the correct behavior when ever involved in an auto accident.