Being in any kind of an accident, whether it be a car accident, motorcycle accident, semi accident, a bicycle/car accident, or a pedestrian/car accident can be overwhelming, scary, and even life-altering. That is why it is always a good idea to be mentally prepared for such an event, so you know exactly what do to ensure you are well protected in case you should ever need to file a personal injury claim/lawsuit.


  1. Call 911;
  2. Attend to your injuries and/or that of your passenger(s);
  3. Exchange insurance information with the other driver;
  4. Tell the police what happened; be as thorough as possible;
  5. Take photographs of the damage to the vehicles, the scene, and any visible injuries you or your passenger(s) may have (if possible);
  6. Gather names and phone numbers of any witness(es) before they leave the scene (if possible); and
  7. Seek medical attention (if needed).

CALL 911

If you are in any sort of car accident, the first thing you should do, if you’re able, is to call 911. Don’t agree with the other driver NOT to call the police. If problems develop at a later time, then you have no investigation as to who is responsible for the accident. Sometimes people give a false identity or contact information. Your insurance company will want proof there was an accident so they ask for a police report. Be sure to tell the police officer thoroughly what happened. Obviously, you should be honest. If you are injured including something as simple as an ache somewhere, tell the police officer. If you later claim you were in pain at the scene, this conflicts with the fact you told the officer you were okay. Do NOT be a hero by minimizing or ignoring any pain. Also, don’t claim it is worse than it actually is. Tell it the way it is.


You should determine if you or any passengers are injured. If so, try to tend to them until first responders arrive.


If you are physically able, you can begin exchanging information with the other driver, particularly insurance information. However, this is not always needed as the Police will obtain that information and then share it with you.


If possible, pictures should be taken showing the damage to the vehicles, the location of the accident, any visible injuries, etc. Sometimes, the Police take such photographs, which we can obtain with a subpoena. If you are injured to the point that you are taken by ambulance to the hospital, then try to get photos of your injuries, casts, medical equipment, etc. Ask a family member or friend to take pictures. As far as damage to your vehicle, photos can be taken at a later time. You should only take photographs if you are physically able to do so. Realize the inconsistency of saying that you are badly injured, yet you are up and around taking photographs, talking to people, etc.


If there are witnesses that are willing to stop and provide assistance before the Police arrive, then try to get their name and contact information, if you are physically able to do so. Having non-interested witnesses always helps your case. They can provide an outside view of the accident and can provide support for the findings of the investigating officer in their Accident Report.


As far as injuries go, it’s not uncommon to feel “okay” at the scene and then later your body starts aching from the trauma that occurred in the accident. It’s ultimately your decision, but if you are having pain or other issues following an accident, you should strongly consider seeking medical attention to at the very least find out what is going on.