Car accidents happen more than they should, and sometimes they lead to devasting results. It is why it is critical to follow specific steps to keep down confusion and lessen the financial burden that might come your way after a car accident.

Most people know that you need to call law enforcement to make a report first. However, there is far more to it and sometimes means the difference between life and death.

Get Safe and Call 911

Pulling over is not always possible because wrecks happen in the middle of roadways, and the vehicles involved are not always drivable. However, if you can get out of the line of traffic, use your hazards and find a safe place to park your car.

When to call 911 after a car accident

Knowing when to call 911 after a car accident is crucial for ensuring the safety of everyone involved and obtaining timely medical assistance and emergency services. Here are some guidelines to help you determine when to call 911 after a car accident:

1. Immediate Medical Emergencies:

Call 911 immediately if anyone involved in the accident is seriously injured, unconscious, bleeding heavily, or experiencing chest pain, difficulty breathing, or other signs of a medical emergency. Prompt medical attention is essential for treating life-threatening injuries and preventing further harm.

2. Significant Property Damage:

If the car accident results in significant property damage, such as damage to vehicles, buildings, or infrastructure, it may be necessary to call 911 to report the accident and request police assistance. Law enforcement officers can help manage the scene, document the accident, and ensure the safety of everyone involved.

3. Hazardous Conditions:

If the car accident creates hazardous conditions on the roadway, such as debris in the road, leaking fluids, downed power lines, or other safety hazards, it’s important to call 911 to report the incident and request assistance. Emergency responders can help mitigate hazards and prevent additional accidents or injuries.

4. Hit-and-Run or Criminal Activity:

If the car accident involves a hit-and-run driver, suspected criminal activity, or other unlawful behavior, it’s essential to call 911 immediately to report the incident and provide relevant information to law enforcement authorities. Prompt reporting can help apprehend suspects and facilitate investigations.

5. Uncertain Circumstances:

If you’re unsure whether to call 911 after a car accident, err on the side of caution and make the call. Emergency dispatchers can assess the situation, provide guidance, and dispatch appropriate emergency services based on the information you provide. It’s better to be safe and seek assistance if there’s any doubt about the severity of the situation.

6. Follow Emergency Procedures:

In the event of a car accident, follow emergency procedures and guidelines for reporting accidents and seeking assistance. If you’re able to do so safely, move to a safe location away from traffic, check for injuries, and assess the situation before calling 911.

Provide clear and accurate information to emergency dispatchers, including the location of the accident, the number of vehicles involved, and any injuries or hazards present.

Remember that calling 911 after a car accident can save lives, prevent further injuries, and ensure that appropriate emergency services are dispatched to the scene promptly. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to make the call and seek assistance as needed.

police accident 911 ambulance

Once you have gotten out of the way of further danger, call 911. Even if it is a minor collision and all you do is exchange insurance, it is still best practice to get a police report. It is because injuries and damages might arise later, and you want to have proof of what actually happened.

Get a Police Report

Regardless of who they find at fault, you can either pursue compensation or defend against the claim on your insurance. But first, you need that report taken before the next step.

The first bits of information they will ask for includes:

• Your name
• Your address
• Your phone numbers
• Your license plate number
• Your insurance information

It is always ideal to have a report taken immediately after the car accident. However, depending on the state you live in, you can make a wreck report for up to 72 hours after the accident. However, when both cars leave a scene and the collision becomes a memory, recollections can get muddy and inaccurate.

Watch What You Say

No one is telling you that you can’t be friendly. However, it is best to stay inside your vehicle in many cases because you don’t want a misunderstanding in the future. It is the officer’s job to investigate and decipher who was at fault.

Whether you feel you think you are at fault or not, keep communication at small talk with the other party and never offer your opinion of what happened. Even in the case of someone asking you how you are feeling, the best answer is that your doctor will assess your injuries and overall condition.

Gather Information

We have one of the best tools in our pockets regarding situations like car accidents – our smartphones. You might want to take pictures of the scene and have information ready before law enforcement ever arrives.


Some of the information you can gather before police arrive includes:

• Date and time of the collision
• Location of the accident
• Name of the road(s) where it occurred, including cross streets
• The directions that both cars were traveling
• The weather and road conditions
• Your immediate recollection of events
• Pictures of how and where the vehicles are positioned
• Photo of the exact spot the accident occurred
• Pictures of all traffic signage
• Photo evidence of all property damage (interior and exterior)
• Images of any and all visible injuries

You are the initial witness to the accident, and pictures can become proof that you were not at fault. If possible, get the names and info of any eyewitnesses, too.

Sometimes people don’t remember details for hours or even days. Keeping a journal or making a note of any pain, newly found damage, or any other information about the car accident will help you if you choose to seek compensation in the future.

Informing Your Insurance Company

Once there is a vehicle collision report, and you can leave the scene, contact your insurance company. Regardless of who is at fault, they need to know that a car accident happened.

Even though according to the law, people should have insurance, some people don’t, and that is information your insurance company needs. Also, it will be your insurance company that provides the most accurate information for the other party in terms of their coverage.

If the other party’s insurance company contacts you, provide the basic information but nothing else. They can use anything you might say against you and hinder any case you might pursue against them. Refer them to your lawyer if they ask for a statement.

Call an Attorney

You’ve got the police report, sought out medical attention, and let your insurance company know what happened. Make sure you’ve collected and kept all of the necessary bills and paperwork.

car accident

The last step is contacting an attorney that specializes in car accidents. Every medical bill, damage report, and other expense record goes to them so they can pursue compensation for you and your family.

A lawyer is not only there to ensure you get a fair deal; they are there to advocate fairness and justice. You don’t want the blame for an accident you did not cause.

If you are someone you love are suffering after a devasting car accident, contact an Asheville car accident lawyer so that you are not stuck with the bill for injuries that are not your fault. Consultations and advice are free to make sure you qualify.