5 steps to take at the scene of an auto accident

If you are in an auto accident, you may be shaken up or even injured. If you have an injury, of course seeking medical help will be your first priority. If you are well enough to stay at the scene of the accident, however, Connecticut law requires you to stay and exchange information with other drivers.  Here are five steps to take at the scene of the accident:

  1. Check on the other drivers. See if anyone needs emergency medical help. The law requires you to stop and help in any way you can. Call the police to report the accident, and request an ambulance, if necessary. You must report accidents to the police in Connecticut any time there is an injured person or damaged property.
  2. Find a safe place to wait. If the accident happens on the highway, you may pull your car out of traffic, if possible. Otherwise, you should leave your vehicle in place for the police accident inspection report and find a safe place to wait for the police to arrive. 
  3. Exchange information. You will have to collect information about the other driver for your insurance claim. This information includes:
    • Name, address and phone number of any other driver
    • Insurance company name and policy number for any other driver
    • Information regarding any other vehicles involved, such as license plate number, make, model and year
  4. Don’t discuss the accident. You may be tempted to chat about the accident with the other people involved, but you could end up with liability issues. Make small talk until the police arrive. Save your accident story for the police report.
  5. Collect accident information. Other information you may find useful in pursuing an insurance claim include:
    • Photos of the accident scene
    • Location, date and time of the accident
    • General description of the directions the cars were going
    • Your best description of how the accident happened, including notes about the weather conditions
    • Contact information for any witnesses
    • Contact information for the police officer at the scene

You may find it hard to remember what to do when you are in the moment. You can keep a checklist in your glovebox with your registration information as a reminder. After the accident, you can get a copy of most police accident reports online. Being in an accident is scary and unnerving. If you find yourself in this situation, hopefully you will take comfort in knowing what steps you should take.