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What To Do In Case Of A Car Accident

Be Prepared

No matter how careful you are, car accidents happen. The best way to make the aftermath as painless as possible is to have all the necessary paperwork on hand. Keep your registration, car insurance papers and a small notebook and a pen easily accessible.


No matter how minor the accident appears to be, STOP. Failure to stop after an accident, no matter who was at fault, can result in serious criminal consequences.

Check For Injuries

Take a deep breath. Remain calm. If possible ascertain if anyone is injured. If anyone appears groggy or unaware of their surrounding, call 911. Serious internal injuries could be present with little to no external injuries. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Move To Safety

You and your passengers should relocate to the sidewalk or shoulder of the road as soon as possible following an accident. If the damage to your car is minor and the accident is straightforward, you can move the vehicle to the shoulder, as well. But if there are any injuries involved or you have any questions about the safety of driving the car, leave it where it is-even if it's blocking traffic. You may also want to leave the car as is if there are questions about who's at fault. No one wants to be the cause of a traffic jam, but it's important to give the police the evidence they need to do their jobs. As you wait for the police, use flares to show other drivers that you're stopped and stay as far away from the flow of moving traffic as possible.

Call The Police

Even if it seems like the damage is minor, calling the police is crucial to get a report on record. Even if you are on private property the police are required to make a report if there is over one-thousand dollars in property damage or any personal injury. You should also avoid discussing fault when going over the facts with the other driver. Only speak with your lawyer and the police about the details of the collision. Also, do not sign any statements or promise to pay for any damages without first consulting your lawyer. The police on the scene are required to ask if you have a preference regarding who tows your vehicle if it is unsafe or unable to be driven away. You are free to choose any towing company that can respond in a timely manner. The dedicated staff at Bailey Towing will respond quickly to handle your towing needs and any debris clean-up at the accident scene.

Document The Scene

If it is possible to safely photograph the scene, do so. Even cell phone photos may have evidentiary value if there is any question as to who was at fault.

Exchange Your Info

When you finish filing your report, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver before you leave. The most important information includes:

  • Full name and contact information
  • Insurance company
  • License plate number
  • Type, color and model of vehicle
  • Location of accident
  • Full names and phone numbers of any witnesses

Contact Your Insurance Agent

Regardless of who is at fault, contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. They will be able to assist you with the various paperwork and state forms that will be required after the accident.