Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

What to Do After a Minor Car Accident

minor car accident

The first thing to do after a minor traffic accident is to stay calm and ascertain if there are any injuries. You’re expected to offer whatever assistance you can if someone is injured. Even if there aren’t injuries, it’s a good idea to call 911. An accident report may stop the other party from denying culpability, or shifting the blame. Do not apologize or explain your actions. This is called "admissions against interests," and it can be misconstrued or used against you later.

Make a report

If the police are too busy to respond, make a point of reporting the accident at a police station the next day. In any event, get the officer’s name and the service number of the report. If the accident is on corporate property, like a shopping mall parking lot, ask the security personnel to record the incident and give you the record number. The company can refuse to divulge the contents of the report, but you can subpoena that information if it’s really vital to your case.

Exchange insurance details

You should definitely swap insurance information. Write down the other driver’s name and address. You can ask to see his or her license to confirm the accuracy of the information. If the other driver asks to see your license, show it to him or her, but do not relinquish possession. It’s been known for people to purloin the license and try to use it as leverage. Write down the model and color of the car and, of course, its registration number.

Take some photos

Now that almost everyone has a camera on their phone, take pictures of the accident, and of any damage. If you see any strange evidence like bottles or cans, or drug paraphernalia, try to photograph that, too. Also bring it to the attention of the police, security personnel, or witnesses.

Get a witness

If any of the witnesses mentions anything that suggests the other party was in the wrong, ask them if you can get their names and contact information for your insurance company. You could record a brief statement from them, either in writing or on your phone. It all helps.

Tell your insurance provider

Notify your insurance company, and the insurance company of the other party, particularly if you’re sure the other party was to blame. You can file a claim at both companies, and make sure to get a claim number from both.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...


Related questions

Q: Is it Legal to Drive With a Damaged or Missing Mirror?

According to the California Vehicle Code, Section 26709, every motor vehicle that is subject to registration in the state of California, except motorcycles, must have two mirrors that reflect to the driver a view of the highway for a distance...

Q: Why does my engine start up but then slowly turn off?

Hi there. Most vehicle accidents cause more than just cosmetic damage, especially when the front end is involved. In your case, without being there to physically inspect your vehicle, it's very difficult to give you a precise cause of the...

Q: Bad front headlight

Hello. Normally the headlight bulb could just be blown out and this problem can be easily fixed by replacing the bulb, but there are some other less likely possibilities to explain why your headlight doesn’t work. There are control unit...