Being in an Auto Accident can be a very traumatic event. The shock that often comes after the impact itself can leave people at a loss. However, even in a stressful situation such as this it is crucial to stay calm and collected. Most individuals don’t realize it but the most important things you can do to protect yourself happens during the moments immediately following the accident.


1. Stop. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, you are required by law to stop. If you don’t, you may be charged with a hit and run. Leaving the scene of an accident can be a very serious charge, much more so than a ticket.

2. Assess the scene. If it is safe to do so, move your car to the shoulder, out of the way of traffic. Do not attempt to move someone who is seriously injured. If someone is seriously hurt, call an ambulance and allow the paramedics to handle the situation.

3. Call the Police. Dial 911 and inform them that there has been an accident. Also tell them if there are any injuries. If you believe the other driver may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, inform the officers at the scene or the 911 operator.

4. Gather information. Information you should gather immediately following an automobile accident, if possible, includes the other driver’s name, address, phone number, date of birth, driver’s license number, insurance company name and policy number, car make, model, and license plate number.

5. Take pictures. Take as many pictures as you possibly can; of all the cars involved in the collision, the road, the traffic conditions, the position the cars were in when the accident occurred. 

6. Speak to potential witnesses.

7. DO NOT admit fault. 

8. DO NOT speak with the other driver’s insurance company. Although you should inform your own insurance company of the accident, you have no obligation to speak with the other driver’s insurer. 

9. Get a medical check-up.

10. Talk to an attorney first. Before speaking to an insurance company lawyer about how the automobile accident happened, make sure to first consult with a personal injury attorney about your case.


Victims in a personal injury case may be able to recover money damages for lost wages, property loss, medical expenses, future lost income, and pain & suffering, depending on the situation. Your attorney will be able to explain what damages you may be entitled to.



YES! This time limit, called the statute of limitations, will depend on the specific circumstances of your claim—the state in which the accident occurred, how it happened, who is involved, and other factors. Claims against most governmental entities in California must be filed with the correct agency within 6 months of the date of loss. This is why you must immediately contact an attorney when you feel that you have been injured by someone else’s actions. Your attorney will be able to determine the statute of limitations for your case and whether there is still time to make a claim.