You’ve been in a car accident and you believe you may be at fault either civilly or criminally. What do you do? 

There are certain steps you should take after an automobile accident that can keep you and others physically safe as well as provide critical information for your insurance and legal team in the days and weeks after the incident. Let’s review what you should do after an accident. 

stress busting techniques

Stay Calm 

Automobile accidents are frightening and can be tragic. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “in the last full reporting year, 400 people died in Massachusetts car accidents. In 2020, there were 76,000 reported crashes and 286 fatalities. Nearly 1000 of these accidents involved pedestrians, and 824 involved bicyclist collisions.”

These numbers are scary but it is important, should a car accident occur, that you remain calm. Although this is easier said than done, this clear-headedness may be able to help you navigate the situation better. 

Check For Injuries 

Once the scene is secured, you should check to confirm if anyone is injured both in your car and in the other vehicles involved. If drivers and/or passengers have been injured, call for emergency response personnel who can properly assess the situation and provide needed help. 

Move To Safety 

Many accidents happen on busy highways or high-traffic routes. If possible, move your car out of the way of other traffic to avoid further injuries or damage. If you believe there is a criminal component to the accident, leave cars where they are for police to examine. 

If you are physically able, move to a safer area away from traffic and other vehicles and wait for emergency response providers to arrive including police, fire, EMTs and ambulances. 

police car

Call Police 

If no one has called the police after the accident, do so once you are safe or away from the crash area. Police will support reopening traffic flow, assessing the situation, questioning witnesses and determining if there was any criminality in the scenario. 

The police will take note of the names, insurance and basic info of the other drivers and passengers involved in the incident. Additionally, the responding officers will fill out an accident report and document the scene. Your insurance will need a copy of this report as well as the report you will be required to fill out at a local police station regarding the facts of the incident. 

Document the Accident 

Should you be physically able, document the accident including getting the names, phone numbers and contact info of other drivers, witnesses and passengers. This information will be valuable later in the insurance process. 

In addition to getting vital identification information, take photos of the scene and document to the best of your ability what happened during the moments before the accident including the names of streets, who was facing what direction and who was traveling in what direction. Include a description of cars and landmarks in the area when possible.

Contact A Lawyer 

Should the accident be due to something criminal such as an impaired driver, DUI, DWI or other circumstances, contact your lawyer at the earliest possible moment to protect your rights. Contact our office should you need legal counsel in an automobile accident that has a criminal component.