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What are the Initial Steps to Take Immediately Following a Car Accident to Build a Strong Case?

May 10, 2024 
by LA Injury Group

Initial Steps to Take Immediately Following a Car Accident - Steps to Take Immediately Following a Car Accident - Do you know what to do if you’re in a car accident? Are you prepared should the unthinkable happen? Unfortunately, “unthinkable” isn’t the right word. Indeed, it’s all too easy to get into a vehicular accident. They happen every single day all across California and, really, the world. There’s no way to be truly prepared for a car accident. But, if you keep this advice in mind, you give yourself the best chance of the most positive outcome. 

When you’re in a vehicular accident, your health and the health of others is, always, paramount. That’s what matters most. Yet, you also want to, whenever possible, protect your legal rights so as to build your case, too. Fortunately, there’s no conflict between protecting your health and protecting your legal rights. Following these steps can help you with both. 

To prove a car accident case, you have to be able to prove that another party was liable for your accident and you suffered damages as a result. [1] This advice can improve your odds of doing so.

In the event you’re in an accident, the odds are not good that you’ll be searching online for an article such as this one amidst the wreckage. Yet, by reading over this now, hopefully, you will recall it at the moment you need it, when you’ve been in an accident. 

What to Do After an Accident 

Safety first. Safety always. To the extent that is possible, get yourself to safety. That means removing yourself from harm’s way as much as you can. 

So, if you’re in the middle of the road, get to the side of the road. If you are near a cliff/something similar, back away from it. After an accident, you could be at great risk of further harm. As much as you can, remove yourself and others from danger. 

If it hurts to move, however, do not. You do not want to exacerbate an injury. Should you feel significant pain when you try to move, don’t. 

The next step is to check yourself and others for injuries. Any injury, no matter how minor, is something that you want to be aware of. Just as with yourself, if your passengers cannot move without hurting, don’t move them. The last thing you want to do is to make the situation worse. 

The next step is to call the authorities. Call 911. Tell them what happened. If you can, do so without exaggerating what happened. Just tell them exactly what happened. 

You want to receive medical attention. You want to do this even if it seems that you or no one else were injured. All too often, the worst injuries aren’t immediately apparent.  They may be internal. You may not be aware of them for days, weeks, or even months. 

If you don’t receive medical attention shortly after the accident, you don’t help your case. In fact, you make it weaker. That makes it possible for the other side to argue that your injuries couldn’t have been that bad because, after all, if they were, wouldn’t you have gotten medical attention sooner? 

Exchange information with the other driver or drivers. Get information from other witnesses, too. Tell the police what happened. 

Once you’ve done everything mentioned, then reach out to us for a free case evaluation. 

What are the Initial Steps to Take Immediately Following a Car Accident to Build a Strong Case

What to Remember for Legal Considerations 

Do not apologize. Do not apologize for the accident even if you believe it was your fault. You may not be 100% sure. After all, your accident may have been caused by some defect in your vehicle, some road or environmental condition, etc.

In fact, not only should you avoid apologizing, you don’t want to say anything that could be even construed as an apology. It does you no favors. Simply exchange information with the other involved driver(s) as cordially and politely as possible. That will serve you best in the short and long run. 

Initial Steps to Take Immediately Following a Car Accident - Practical Advice 

You may be in shock shortly after an accident. With adrenaline coursing through your veins, it can be a real challenge to know what to do. By following these guidelines, you give yourself the best chance of success. 

By that same token, to the extent that you’re able, take pictures and video at the scene. Don’t do this if it’s going to cause you further harm. 

When it comes to “what to take pics and videos” of, focus on that which is going to be repaired, that which can be fixed. For example, collect evidence of environmental conditions. If there are any skid marks from the accident, any road damage, trees that may have fallen, structural damage, and the like – that’s what you want to collect. That will be fixed or disappear.

Do the same with your injuries. Take pictures and videos of those. Do so as soon as you can. These will all be used to help your case. 

Car accidents are more common than you might think. According to the CDC, there are roughly 100 car accidents every single day in America. [2]


Is This Advice True for All Accidents? 

Yes. Whether your accident involved a motorcycle, truck, minivan, or even a bicycle, follow this same procedure. 

What Should I Do if the Other Driver is Rude? 

You stay polite. It does you no good to argue with the other party at the scene of the accident. Get their information and don’t “take the bait,” as they say. 

The Other Driver Left Scene - Now What? 

First, try to get as much information about them as you can. Get their license plate, or even just the color/make of their vehicle, etc. Then, do everything mentioned above. Hit-and-run accidents have increased [3], so it’s best to be prepared. 

What Should I Do if The Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?

It’s still in your best interests to talk to an experienced car accident attorney. Follow the same procedures and reach out. We can help you to recover your maximum compensation. 

Attorneys Who Can Help 

Nothing ever prepares you for being in a car accident. There’s no way to be 100% prepared when the time comes. The best you can do is to try to remember some of these tips should you ever be in an accident. 

If you or someone you love are in an accident, however, we can help. Here at the LA Injury Group, we can help you to recover all of the compensation you deserve for everything that you’ve been through. To schedule a free case evaluation with us, contact us through this site or call. 


  1. American Bar Association, “Personal Injury Claims,” American Bar Association, Accessed 8 5 24 
  2.  Yellman MA, Sauber-Schatz EK. Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths — United States and 28 Other High-Income Countries, 2015 and 2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:837–843. DOI: Accessed 8 5 24 
  3. Benson, A.J., Arnold, L.S., Tefft, B.C., & Horrey, W.J. (2017). Hit-and-Run Crashes: Prevalence, Contributing Factors, and Countermeasures (Research Brief). Washington, D.C.: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Accessed 8 5 24
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