Even a relatively minor car accident can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. While most drivers will be involved in an accident at some point, you never expect it to happen when it does. That is why you need to have a plan in place before you are put in that situation.
The most important thing to do is check everyone for injuries. Some injuries are not visible, so if you or someone else involved do not feel perfectly fine, call 911 immediately. Be prepared to tell the dispatcher your name, where the accident happened and what happened.
Be sure to take some deep breaths to help you deal with your emotions and stay calm. If no one is injured and you can drive to a safer spot nearby, then do that. Otherwise, use cones, flares or warning triangles to warn people of the crash site as you wait for police to arrive.
It’s generally a good idea to call police to the scene, although you are not required to do so in Washington unless there appears to be $700 in damage or an injury.
Ask to see the other driver’s license, and write down the name, phone number, address, license plate number, insurance company name and insurance policy number.
You should write down a narrative and possibly even a diagram of what happened to help refresh your memory when you give a statement to the insurance company. Take pictures of the scene if you have a camera with you.