Top Five Things to Do After an Auto Accident

Drivers share personal information after a collision on the road.

What You Need to Do After an Auto Accident

In the moments after an auto accident, it is important to use time wisely. That means keeping your focus on the accident and your injuries as well as others involved in the crash. Once this is done, it is crucial to know the steps you must take. Let’s start at the beginning.

Stop at the Scene of an Auto Accident

It is never acceptable to leave the accident scene. Leaving is a crime in the District of Columbia as it is elsewhere and referred to as leaving after colliding. The auto accident can involve damage to property or injury to an individual. Injury to another person results in a fine and 180 days in jail for a hit-and-run first offense. Subsequent offenses carry greater penalties and fines. 

Call an Ambulance if Needed

Check to see if you, passengers in your car or those in another vehicle are suffering a medical emergency. If so, call 911 and tell them what happened and that you require emergency services.

Call the Police After an Auto Accident

It is a good idea to call the police no matter how minor the auto accident was. When the police arrive, they evaluate the accident and file a formal report. This details vehicle placement, the cause of the crash and the vehicles and people involved and who was at fault. This is valuable information to help prove who is liable for the damages. 

In some cases, the responding police officer issues a citation to the at-fault driver. This information adds to your car accident lawyer’s evidence locker and becomes a strong element in your case. Your attorney also checks the report for inaccuracies.

Move Your Vehicle

While it is illegal to leave the scene of an auto accident, a driver can move their vehicle out of the way of traffic. By moving it to the side of the road, you are able to prevent additional damage. Be sure that it is safe to move the car before doing this on a busy highway or urban street.

If you can’t move the vehicle, it is wise to alert other motorists that an accident occurred. Turn the vehicle’s flashers on or tie a white cloth to the antenna or car door. If you leave the vehicle, try to do so from the side closest to the road’s shoulder. 

Exchange Information With Other Drivers Involved in the Auto Accident

This is a crucial step and one to perform before cars are cleared from the scene. Drivers should exchange insurance and contact information before leaving the auto accident site. Also, you can use your cell phone camera to document any visible damage to your vehicle and others. Try to take a picture showing vehicle placement and signage in the area. 

What a Car Accident Lawyer Can Do for You

It is a good idea to consult with an attorney even if the accident seems minor. Payment for small repairs and medical costs can escalate. In addition, physical symptoms can appear 48 hours to three days after the crash occurred. 

An attorney will investigate your auto accident by using crash reconstruction techniques to determine liability before the evidence disappears. At our firm, we also interview witnesses, obtain video footage from surveillance cameras and nearby businesses and protect our clients rights. 

Call the Roeser Law Firm in Washington, D.C.

Our attorneys are available for a free case review during which they answer your questions and learn about the particulars of your claim. We deal with insurance companies as your legal representative so you don’t have to. We do everything that is necessary to obtain the compensation you deserve while you take the time to heal. Call us at (202) 660-4070 to schedule a time to meet with our attorneys.

Photo attribution:

Zeke Roeser


3000 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 140
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 660-4070