What Should You Do Immediately After A Car Accident?

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According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, more than 5.2 million motor vehicle accidents were reported to police in 2020. Combined, they had an overall economic cost of $242 billion.

Across the country, there is an average of one in 366 chances of having an accident for every 1,000 miles you drive. This can vary depending on where you love, with some states having much higher rates of accidents per mile than others. For example, in Michigan, one accident was reported every two minutes and nine seconds.

No matter where you live, there is a good chance you will be involved in at least one accident in your lifetime. Knowing what steps to take after a car accident is vital to protecting yourself, getting the care and attention you need, and preserving your rights. If you have been involved in a car accident and are unsure what to do next, our attorneys can help. The Mike Morse Law Firm specializes in personal injury cases. We’ll work tirelessly to ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to.

Steps To Take Immediately After an Auto Accident


The actions you take in the minutes and hours after a crash can seriously impact the outcome. These steps can help you minimize additional injuries, obtain information to get in touch with other drivers, and adhere to applicable Michigan traffic laws.

Get to a Safe Location

One of the first things you should do after a crash is to get to a safe location. This can vary depending on the severity of the accident and any injuries involved. As a general rule, moving the vehicles out of the traffic lanes is best if there are no severe injuries. This can help keep you and other drivers safe while you wait for officials.

Moving vehicles after a crash is not always possible or advisable. When someone is seriously injured and moving them could be dangerous or cause more harm, it is best to leave the vehicles where they are. If you have safety flares or markers, put them on the road to alert other drivers of the accident. There may also be situations where one or more cars are damaged beyond operational condition, and you will have to wait for a tow truck to arrive before removing it.

Assess Yourself for Injuries

Once everyone is safe, you must assess yourself for obvious injuries. For example, it is common to be scratched and bruised by vehicle safety devices like seat belts and airbags. These may need medical attention.

If you have any doubts about whether or not you have been hurt or if medical personnel have already been called, have them check you. However, traumatic shock from an accident can mask symptoms of serious injuries, so in many cases, it is a good idea to have a professional exam even if you feel fine. EMS providers are trained to spot injuries consistent with car accidents and may notice something you did not.

Some soft tissue injuries will not manifest themselves until a few days or even a week after they happen. Therefore, you should monitor yourself for at least a week to see if any new bruising, pain, or decreased mobility occurs. If it does, see a doctor and tell them about your accident.

Exchange Information With Other Drivers

Take a few minutes to exchange information with all other drivers involved in the accident. At a minimum, you should record names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information. Taking a picture of documents and license plates can ensure that vital information is captured correctly.

Witnesses are another critical component of an accident investigation. So, if another driver stops or someone is walking nearby, try to get their name and contact information, too. Then, if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, your attorneys will have that information to get a clear picture of what happened during and immediately after your accident.

Report the Accident

Under Michigan law, you must report most auto accidents. So, if the crash caused any injuries or property damage over $1,000, you must file a police report. In most cases, this is done at the scene. However, exceptions exist, and you may need to file it at a police station instead if safety is a concern or you find damage later on.

Seek Emergency Care

While getting medical attention at the accident scene is generally wise, it isn’t always possible. If you notice injuries later on or leave the scene because you feel unsafe, seek emergency medical care immediately after your accident.

Any injuries that manifest in the days after your accident should be examined as soon as possible. This helps ensure they are linked directly to the accident. Urgent care centers are a good option if you do not want to go to an emergency room.

File an Insurance Claim

You will want to file an insurance claim for injuries and damage to your vehicle. You may need a copy of the police report to submit with your claim. It is advisable to keep copies of these for your records in case there are questions during the claims process.

Michigan is a no-fault state, meaning that every driver will first file a claim for injuries with their own insurance company regardless of who caused the accident. As such, all drivers must purchase Personal Injury Protection insurance. Limits of $250,000, $500,000, or unlimited policies are typical in the state. If your injuries are beyond the limits of your policy, you may be able to seek additional compensation by filing a personal injury claim against the responsible driver.

Michigan Auto Accident Laws


You must adhere to all applicable state laws after an auto accident in Michigan. These are primarily straightforward and easy to follow. However, the confusion of an accident and the large number of tasks that one brings can make it easy to skip a step. Hiring an accident attorney can help you ensure that all laws are followed. Some regulations from the Michigan Vehicle Code that you should be aware of include the following:

  • A police report must be filed if there is more than $1,000 in property damage or if anyone is injured or killed in the accident.
  • Drivers must remain at the scene of an accident until it is reported to the police or go to a police station to file a report if the location is unsafe.
  • Vehicles should be moved from traffic lanes as long as it is safe to do so

Protect Yourself After an Auto Accident


Auto accidents are common in Michigan, with nearly 250,000 reported in 2020. Everyone has the potential to cause property damage, physical injuries, and emotional trauma. The attorneys at Mike Morse Law Firm are experienced in handling personal injury cases and getting individuals injured in auto accidents — people just like you — get the compensation they deserve.

Contact our office at 855-MIKE-WINS if you have been involved in a car accident and need help filing insurance or seeking compensation for your injuries. Our attorneys will perform a free, no-obligation case evaluation to help you determine your options. Then, we’ll handle the paperwork so you can focus on recovering.

Call 855-Mike-wins 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
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