Kevin J. Williams

Attorney at Law


(336) 793-8459

What to Do After a Car Accident

Keep calm, stay safe, and collect the information you need after a car accident

Keeping a cool head will make it easier to deal with the accident and its aftermath. You may be dazed. Your adrenaline spikes. Your heart is pounding. Try to take slow deep breaths to calm your heart rate and clear your head.

2. Check for Injuries

Check yourself and any passengers in your vehicle for visible injuries. Call 911 or ask someone else to do so if it appears that anyone is hurt, either in your vehicle or another vehicle involved in the accident. If you’re seriously injured, try not to move until help can get to you.

3. Get Your Vehicle Out of the Road

Clear the roadway if possible. Pull your car over to the shoulder if you can so that it’s out of the way of approaching vehicles. If an accident happens at night, turn on your car’s hazard lights so that other cars can see you. And if you can’t move your vehicle, get yourself and anyone else involved in the accident to a safe spot away from the road. An emergency kit that includes flares or reflective triangles can come in handy for directing traffic around an accident.

4. Check for Damage to Both Vehicles

If you’re not injured and you’re able to assess the damage to the vehicles, take time to do that. Try to take pictures showing the position of the cars if they haven’t been moved and of the damage to each vehicle. If you can’t take pictures, consider drawing a diagram to show how the accident occurred, while it is still fresh in your memory.

5. Report the Accident to Law Enforcement

If the accident is a serious one, call law enforcement to the scene. The police can create a report of the accident, which you can request a copy of for insurance purposes.

6. Exchange Information With the Other Driver

State laws differ on what information you’re expected to exchange with another driver after an accident. At a minimum, you would need to exchange names and insurance information. but you could also try to get other useful information, including:
  • The other driver’s phone number
  • Make and model of the other driver’s vehicle
  • Name and contact information for anyone who witnessed the accident
  • Name, badge number, and phone number for any law enforcement officers who respond to the accident scene

7. Decide Whether to Hire An Attorney

Car insurance is designed to protect you financially if you’re involved in an accident. Unless you live in the state of New Hampshire, you’re required to have minimum amounts of bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. Both of those coverages are intended to reimburse another driver or their passengers if you are at fault in an accident.

Your policy’s collision coverage will cover damage to your car, while medical payments or personal injury protection coverage, if you have either, can help cover the cost of any injuries you sustain in the short term. Your regular health insurance will help, too.


If you are injured in a wreck, DO NOT talk to the at fault driver’s insurance company. You are not obligated to tell them anything. Often, the insurance adjuster for the other driver’s insurance company will contact you shortly after the accident to ask you questions about the wreck, how it occurred and how you are doing health-wise. The adjuster may even ask you to give a recorded statement. Politely decline to speak about the matter until you have had a chance to speak to an attorney about your rights. Everything you say to the adjuster may be used to deny your claim.

Similarly, if you decide to retain a lawyer, let the lawyer contact your own insurance company to report the claim. At some point, your own insurance company may want to conduct an Examination Under Oath (EUO). While you are generally contractually obligated to answer the questions from your insurance company, you are permitted to tell your insurance company that you wish to speak to an attorney first.

What Not to Do After a Car Accident

Knowing what you should do following a car accident matters, but it’s also important to know what you shouldn’t do.

If you’re involved in an accident, here are some of the biggest mistakes to avoid:

  • Don’t flee the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident could result in a criminal charge.
  • Don’t admit guilt. When exchanging information with the other driver, take care to avoid making statements that could be construed as an admission of guilt on your part.
  • Don’t place blame. You should also avoid finger-pointing at the other driver or accusing them of causing the accident. This is an issue for the police, the insurance companies and the lawyers to sort out.
  • Don’t talk to an adjuster without consulting a lawyer. An insurance adjuster, either from your insurance company or the other driver’s, may reach out to you for a statement following the accident. As stated above, don’t talk to the adjuster without first consulting a lawyer because anything you say could affect any personal injury claims that might arise in connection with the accident

In conclusion, if you have been injured in a wreck, contact the Law Office of Kevin J. Williams, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for a free consultation at (336)793-8459 to make sure your rights are protected. Kevin has over twenty (20) years of experience handling serious auto cases of all kinds and will maximize your compensation. Kevin will give your case the personal attention it deserves.

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