August 18, 2019

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What to Do After an Accident: A Checklist

Car Accident Checklist

The steps that you take or fail to take after an accident can be crucial to your safety and your ability to recover the compensation you need and deserve. But when you’re in the fray of things, it’s hard to remember everything you should and shouldn’t do. Print this checklist and keep it in your car to refer to.

Stay Safe and Gather Information

  • If you can move your vehicle, get it out of the flow of traffic, but do not leave the scene.

  • Stay in your vehicle for safety.

  • Check for any injuries.

  • Call 911. If you need an ambulance let them know. Wait in your vehicle for help to arrive.

  • When help arrives, write down the name of the responding officer.

  • Get names and insurance information for other drivers involved.

  • Write down names and contact information for all witnesses.

Take Photos

Take photos of everything, including:

  • All damage to vehicles

  • Damage to anything other than vehicles, such as signs or guardrails

  • All injuries

  • Skid marks, spilled fluids, debris, and any other indicators of what happened

  • Missing or obscured signs, icy patches, or anything else that my have contributed to your accident

Do Not

  • Do not share your driver’s license number or show your registration to anyone other than law enforcement, other first responders and your tow truck driver.

  • Do not admit fault, even if you think you may have been at fault.

  • Do not discuss the details of the accident.

  • Do not talk to anyone else’s insurance company.

  • Do not post anything about the accident to social media.

As soon as possible, after an auto accident, please contact an experienced auto accident attorney.

About Sandra Dalton

With a background as a paralegal, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights, Sandra Dalton launched her freelance writing career in 2000 with a weekly column on Freedom for Suite 101 and pro bono projects for individuals and organizations supporting causes close to her heart. One of her first projects was for the Police Compliant Center writing about police misconduct. Sandra’s legal writing quickly expanded to include personal injury, animal welfare, criminal defense, disability discrimination, family law and much more.

Sandra’s other writing around the web includes a broad range of topics such as food, pet health, feral cats, music and film. Sandra is also a fine art photographer, helps with animal rescue and TNR in her community, and volunteers as a DJ at her local radio station.