5 immediate steps to take after a car accident

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What you do in the minutes, hours, or days after a collision is what counts.

Car accidents are a horrifying experience. They can completely immobilize you, almost to where you cannot think clearly—you might even be tempted to drive away if your car isn’t severely damaged.

But what most people don’t know is that what you do in the minutes, hours, or days after a collision is what counts.

Here are five immediate steps to take after a car accident.

1. Pull over and call 911. If the car is drivable and if there is space, pull over. Turn your hazards on and use signs, if you have them. Do not block the flow of traffic as it could lead to possible crashes. However, only move if you need to. Call the police no matter how great or minor the accident is.

2. Get the other driver’s information. Be sure to gather information about the other driver. You will need their name, address, insurance information, license plate info, make, model, year, and vehicle registration. The more information you have, the more it will help you in the long run.

3. Document everything. In addition to getting the other driver’s information, note as many details as you can about what happened. The time, weather conditions, traffic light malfunctions, the flow of traffic, noticeable witnesses, and the number of people in the vehicles involved. Take pictures of all damages even if they are not significant.

4. Never admit fault or place blame. Do not accept fault or liability and do not waste time debating what happened with other drivers. Only speak to the police and your lawyer about the accident. Arguing with the persons involved could distort your recollection of the events, causing you to lose crucial information.

5. Call your lawyer. Before speaking to any insurance companies, including your own, it’s recommended that you talk to your lawyer. If insurance companies reach out first, “you risk giving information, carelessly and unintentionally that can cause damage to your case.” Your attorney will guide you through the process ensuring that you get what you need.

If you were in a car accident or need other assistance, the J. Gonzalez Law Firm is ready to help. For more information, visit

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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