- Be safe. Make sure that you are safe and that all people involved are safe. Don’t step out into traffic. Traffic is an extremely dangerous place.
- If there is a dangerous or serious situation at hand, do what you can to help or get help, e.g. a car is burning with someone trapped inside, someone is bleeding severely, someone is laying in traffic, etc.
- If anyone is injured, call 911. Make sure an ambulance is on the way, call the police.
- Document what just took place. Quickly take a note of your perception of what just happened.
- Take detailed notes. Get license plate numbers, describe vehicles and occupants, directions, locations, conditions of vehicles, make and models of vehicles, colors of vehicles, vehicle conditions. Take pictures of everything. Document time of day and the date, traffic conditions, etc.
- Don’t admit any liability at this time. Responsibility will be sorted out later when all of the facts are reviewed. You don’t want to damage your case by making rash statements in a stressful situation.
- Exchange information with the other parties involved. Get all of their information including insurance info (usually a policy number and carrier name), names, addresses, phone numbers, vehicle tag numbers, vehicle descriptions.
- Get witness information – names, phone numbers, statements on what they saw and where the witnesses were. Document a description of the witnesses, i.e. gender, race, age, clothing, vehicle tag, vehicle description, etc.
- If the police arrive, get the badge number of officer and any information on getting a copy of the police report. Take note on what agency the officer is with, i.e. county sheriff, city police dept (and what city), etc. Record info on the vehicle the officer is in.
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident until the police have arrived and the necessary information has been obtained. If the police are not coming then make sure you have all above information before leaving.
- If tow trucks are involved, get all necessary information on the drivers, trucks and towing companies. Find out where they are taking the vehicles.
If I am Involved in an Accident, What Should I do?