What to Do If You’re in an Accident

First, stop your vehicle. Take a deep breath and make sure your passengers – and you– are okay.

  • 1.) Immediately call 911 for police and medical help.
  • 2.) Gather and write down as much information about the accident as you can. (As time passes, memories fade. If you’re questioned later, you'll be glad you wrote down the details at the scene.)
    • a. Drivers’ names, driver's license numbers, contact information (home addresses and phone numbers), insurance and vehicle registration information.

    • b. Based on your perception and those of other witnesses, whether any of the drivers appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs; what caused this suspicion, i.e., slurred speech, etc. and witness contact information or license plate numbers. (Witnesses are important because after any substances wear off, it’s your word against the driver's.)

    • c. Names and contact information for all passengers, pedestrians, and witnesses, for example, the biker who saw the whole accident from the oncoming lane.

    • d. Any statements you hear about the cause or consequences of the accident. Did anyone say "I'm not hurt?" Did anyone imply/assume responsibility for the accident, saying "I wasn't looking either," "I was distracted," "I wasn't wearing my glasses," "I spilled my coffee," etc.

    • e. Location, date, and time of the accident.

    • f. A detailed description of the accident, i.e., which direction the vehicles were going before the accident, weather and related conditions (fog, rain, night, ice), what happened, injuries, any damage, and what the police did, i.e., issued tickets or gave a sobriety test.

    • g. Draw a diagram to help clarify circumstances of the accident. Include positions of vehicles before, during, after the accident; skid marks; positions of crosswalks, stop signs, traffic lights or street lights, etc.

    • h. If you have a camera or cell phone with a camera, take pictures of the accident scene.

    • i. Name, badge numbers and contact information for police at the scene.

  • 3.) Report the accident to your insurance company; request accident forms.
  • 4.) Call Buchanan. If your car is drivable, we’ll give you directions on how to find us. If not, we’ll pick you and your vehicle up. In either case, we’ll arrange transportation for the duration of your vehicle repair. 260-244-6105.