Dos and Don’ts of Traffic Accidents


  • Immediately call for medical help if someone is injured.
  • Call the police. They will document the accident and gather facts for legal purposes. If you don’t call the police, it is your word against the other person’s.
  • Report the accident to your insurance agent as soon as possible.
  • Move the car if it is drive able to the side of the road or a parking lot.
  • Exchange information with the other parties involved, such as address and phone number. If it’s a car accident get the license plate number; make, model and year of the vehicle; driver’s insurance information; car registration number; driver’s license number.
  • Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses. Keep in mind, if it was a car accident, any passengers involved in the accident are not witnesses.
  • Keep a disposable camera handy, such as in your glove box, to take pictures of the accident, damage to the vehicle, and the area around the accident.
  • Write down any details you can remember from the accident.
  • Call an attorney if needed.


  • Panic. Remain calm and call for help.
  • Leave the scene of the accident.
  • Discuss the accident with anyone and blame anyone, including yourself.
  • Forget to document and take pictures of all damages, especially your vehicle, if in a car accident.
  • Wait to get legal advice. The longer you wait, the harder it is to prove your case.
  • Speak to anybody from the at-fault person’s insurance company before consulting a lawyer. If you give a statement, it may be used against you in the future.
  • Sign any papers given to you by an insurance company or agree to a settlement of your case until you get legal advice.
  • Remember, safety is first! Always call 911, no matter how big the injury!