What to Do After a 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.


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11,683
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Rafael

26 years of experience
39 reviews
Rafael
26 years of experience
Mazda 3 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Oakland, California
Rafael is great. He's nice, calm, takes his time, knows what he's doing. Competent and honest. Highly recommend him.
Mazda 6 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Rodeo, California
He was amazing! Was even able to do additional work that was needed for my brakes in the same day. great work! would highly recommend.

Aurelio

35 years of experience
18 reviews
Aurelio
35 years of experience
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - San Antonio, Texas
Aurelio has done it again!!! Great service and completed faster than I expected. Very happy to say he is MY mechanic for any and all my car maintenance. Great Trustworthy person all the around and extremely knowledgeable. I appreciate him always taking the time to explain car stuff and answer any questions I have.

Pierre

8 years of experience
109 reviews
Pierre
8 years of experience
Toyota Venza - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Stoughton, Massachusetts
Arrived earlier than scheduled and completed all the work required. His demeanor and knowledge was great and I am very happy with the work!

Bryant

11 years of experience
405 reviews
Bryant
11 years of experience
Scion iA - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Carmel, Indiana
This is my first time using this service. I am very happy with it. Bryant was very knowledgeable and did quality work. I will use this service more regularly.

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