What Should I Do At the Scene of a Car Accident?

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Enduring a car accident can seem as tumultuous as being caught in a tempest. Apart from the bodily harm, the multitude of obstacles faced by survivors can be overwhelming, complicating their efforts to make sense of the situation. The dual burden of dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath frequently traps individuals, delaying their move towards essential recovery actions.

Given the unpredictability of car accidents, possessing a mental roadmap for what to do right after is advantageous. Implementing specific critical actions at various points is vital for pursuing damage compensation from responsible entities and facilitating the most seamless recovery trajectory.

Call the Police

Regardless of the severity of an accident, contact the police and file a report immediately. This action aids in recording the event and serves as potential evidence for future disputes. A police report is also essential for processing insurance claims.

Upon their arrival, present the police with accurate details to facilitate drafting a precise and unbiased report. While interacting with the police, maintain composure and avoid admitting liability. Focus on narrating the events without placing blame or expressing regret over the incident to ensure the report’s accuracy and fairness.

The police can also coordinate with medical services if necessary and help secure the scene. Even in cases without significant injuries or damage, notifying the authorities is advisable for an official assessment. Before leaving the site, ensure you obtain a copy of the police report and any other pertinent documents.

Call for Medical Help

Stay at the site of an accident for both safety and potential legal ramifications. Fleeing from such events can endanger others and is deemed illegal. Failing to remain at an accident scene, injury present or not, is classified as a violation of traffic laws. Should you need to leave your car, do so with caution. Given that emotions might escalate, hastily exiting could expose you to further risks from passing traffic.

Assessing the health of everyone involved in the accident is essential. The condition of the individuals will inform your decisions on whether to move the vehicles and whom to contact. For instance, those with injuries to their head, neck, or back may require the assistance of medical professionals for safe movement.

Avoid assuming there are no injuries, as some symptoms could emerge days after the incident. Regardless of how minor the injuries might seem initially, seeking immediate medical care is pivotal to ascertain the true extent of any damages. If anyone appears to suffer from severe injuries, it’s imperative to contact emergency services right away for guidance.

Contact Your Attorney

After confirming the safety of all individuals and reaching out to the authorities, it’s important to contact a reliable Raleigh car accident attorney. They will guide you on the necessary actions and how to properly document information from the scene. It’s crucial to avoid any commentary that might be interpreted as an admission of fault due to others also gathering evidence.

A lawyer with experience can play a key role in defending your rights and ensuring your narrative is presented clearly. Their counsel can shield you from providing details that may negatively affect the legal assessment of fault. An attorney is well-versed in the nuances of legal proceedings and can suggest various strategies for managing your case.

Notify your insurance provider, offering only relevant facts without admitting any fault. Convey the event’s details succinctly, indicating your willingness to provide further information as needed.

Relocate the Vehicles to a Secure Area

Take steps to relocate any vehicles from danger if possible. Enlisting the help of bystanders or witnesses to manage traffic might be required. However, vehicles might need to stay put following a major accident involving serious injuries or a vehicle that cannot be moved.

Should moving your vehicles be impractical, activate your hazard lights to alert other drivers to be careful. Use reflective devices or flares as additional warnings. Opt for actions that reduce the risk of additional injuries.

Share Information and Snap Photos

Even though the police report acts as the official record of the accident, make it a point to take personal photos of your vehicle’s damage and any other involved vehicles as part of your post-accident procedure. Capture shots from various angles to accurately display the impact sites. These photos will aid your insurance claim representative determine who is responsible for the accident.

Make sure to collect the other driver’s full name, address, contact number, and insurance details. If feasible, exchange further details like the vehicle models and makes, drivers’ license details, and registration numbers. If any witnesses are at the scene, courteously request their contact information.

Contact a Tow Truck if Required

The damage to your vehicle could necessitate its transportation to the auto repair shop. Roadside assistance is often included as a benefit for those with motor club memberships. In some instances, law enforcement may summon a towing service, and numerous car makers provide driver support initiatives.

Do not trust an unsolicited tow truck that arrives at an accident scene without verification; confirming its legitimacy and recording all pertinent details is crucial. The National Insurance Crime Bureau highlights various tow scams to be cautious of, such as situations where your vehicle is taken to a specific site and retained until a significant payment is made.

Avoid Acknowledging Fault

Upon law enforcement’s arrival at the incident site, they will record statements from everyone involved about the events that transpired. Ensure you only relay factual information and refrain from conjecturing about who is at fault.

Your viewpoint on the accident is naturally restricted, and you might be unaware of numerous contributing factors. For instance, the collision could have been partially caused by defective car parts, potentially implicating the manufacturer. It’s advisable to avoid attributing blame and focus solely on narrating your direct observations, what you heard, and your personal experiences. The task of assigning fault will later fall to the insurance adjuster, who might leverage any of your statements to minimize or refuse your claim.


If you’ve suffered an injury or experienced the loss of a family member in a car accident, enlisting a lawyer can offer substantial support post-collision. The legal team will protect your rights against insurance companies and any other possible challenges, managing the bulk of the insurance and legal procedures on your behalf.