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What to Do When Involved in a Car Accident

More than NJ Auto Insurance and Claims Processes

“There I was, innocently waiting for the car in front of me to start moving when the totally unexpected occurred: the vehicle behind me rammed into the back of my car…”

Nobody wants a car accident. When it does occur, it is least expected. Knowing how to respond to a sudden auto collision is one of the best ways to ensure this unpleasant situation is handled well. 

As soon as the accident occurs

a)      Try to stay calm and collected.

b)       Assess yourself and passengers: is anyone hurt?

c)       Call medical emergency responders or 911 in the event of injury.

d)      If there are no safety concerns, drive and park your car off the

e)      If moving the car is not an option, turn on hazard lights so others
         will know of your situation.

f)       Notify the police department about your accident and your

Filing a police report

a)      Wait for the police officer to approach you.

b)      Respond to questions about the incident without passing
         judgement as to who is the responsible party. That is the officer’s

c)       In lieu of a police report in the event a police authority does not 
         arrive, make sure to inform the NJ Department of Motor Vehicles
         about the incident.

Collecting information

a)      Make sure to record the other driver’s name as well as any
         passengers that were in the other car.

b)      Write down the exact location of the scene.

c)       Mark down the make, model and license-plate number of the
          other vehicle.

d)      Write down the other driver’s insurance coverage information.

e)      If there are any witnesses to the accident scene, get their phone
         numbers as well.

f)       Take pictures of the aftermath of the collision, including the
         damages that were incurred.

g)      Mark down the id number of the police officer that responded.

Submitting an Accident Insurance Claim

a)      Contact your insurance company immediately after the accident
         occurred to file.

b)      Mark down your claim number for future reference.

c)       Your insurance company will guide you in regard to the adjuster’s
          assessment of damage and auto repairs. Your insurance company
          can also refer you to a mechanic if you do not have your own

RELATED: advice about winter collisions from the auto insurance companies

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