So you have been in a collision.  First and foremost, let me say, I’m sorry. For the next little while, your life will likely be disrupted.  However, it is best to interrupt life now and get back to 100% health.

Here are the things you need to do immediately after a collision. These instructions are for the protection of your claim and not for safety or any other purpose.  Other safety precautions can and should be taken and are often suggested to you by the responding law enforcement agency. Further, many of the tips in this article are written with the driver not at fault in mind. 

5 Steps to Take Immediately after you Crash

  1. Call the police and report a collision with possible injuries.  Understand that immediately after a collision, adrenaline usually starts pumping through your body masking the severity of your injuries.  You should get the police report number via an information exchange form. 
  2. Take pictures of your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle, and a backed up view of the scene.  The vehicle pictures are for proof of damage.  The backed up view of the scene is for the purpose of liability, or determining who is at fault.  Many times the way the cars are positioned will help law enforcement and the insurance company in determining who is responsible for the collision. 
  3. Contact your insurance company to start a claim.  You can usually do this through your insurance company’s mobile application.  This would be the best place to start the claim, but you can also do so by calling.  Most insurance companies have a 24 hour claims line.  
  4. Seek medical treatment, immediately.  The concern about covering the medical expenses is completely understandable. If you are in Kansas, you should have personal injury protection benefits on your insurance coverage, allowing you to seek emergency medical services. If you are in Virginia and you have a medpay benefit in your insurance plan the same emergency medical services.  No matter what, if you feel emergency medical services are not appropriate for you, you absolutely should schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible. 
  5. Contact a personal injury attorney.  Once your collision takes place the insurance companies will start investigating the claim.  Unfortunately, this is the time that you should really be focused on healing from injuries and not be worried about managing the claim. Allow a competent personal injury attorney to work with the insurance companies while you focus on healing.  


  • If your vehicle is inoperable, the police department will likely have your car towed.  If this is the case, you will want to get the name, address, and phone number of where the vehicle is taken. You should try and get your insurance company to the vehicle, make arrangements for repairs, if applicable, and contact the tow lot as soon as possible.  Many times, storage lots charge a daily storage fee for your vehicle being on the property. 
  • The police department will be concerned with traffic control and oftentimes will recommend that the vehicles be moved to the side of the road.  Such instruction should be followed as soon as possible while also trying to preserve the scene by taking photos. 
  • Everything is recorded from your call to 911 to the set up of the claim with the insurance company.