What to Do After a Car Accident

You're sitting at a red light waiting for it to turn green when you hear the unmistakable sound of squealing tires on the pavement. You hope the car behind you can stop in time, but they can't. You've been hit. What next? It might be hard, but try to stay calm and follow these instructions:

  1. Check for injuries to you and your passengers, and check for injuries to those in other vehicles, if you can do it safely.
  2. Move yourself and your passengers, as well as your vehicle, to a safer location like the side of the road, if necessary.
  3. Turn on your hazard lights.
  4. Call 911. The operator will tell you if the police will come to the scene of the accident or if you need to report the accident by calling or going to the police station.
  5. Exchange basic information with others involved in the accident—name, address, driver's license and insurance information. Try to get the name, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses as well. Don't offer additional information, admit guilt or accept responsibility. If the driver is not named on the registration card or insurance policy, find out who they are in relation to the driver.
  6. Write down a description of the car, including license plate and vehicle identification numbers. Include notes about the accident and specific damages to all vehicles involved. If you can do it safely, take pictures documenting the damage at the scene.
  7. If your car needs to be towed, make sure you know where they're taking it and how to reach them. Don't forget to remove all valuables, including your garage door opener, insurance card and registration information, beforehand.
  8. Call us at 1-844-AMSHIELD (1-844-267-4435).
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