Claims Help

How to Handle an Accident

Having an auto accident or dealing with a catastrophe is stressful, yet it's important to try to stay calm and focused.

What Do I Do After an Accident?

1. Safety First

  • If the car accident is minor, move vehicles out of traffic to a safe place.
  • Shift into park, turn off your vehicle, and turn on the hazard lights.
  • Use cones, warning triangles, or flares for added safety, if you have them.


2. Get Help

  • Check for injuries; call an ambulance when in doubt.
  • Call the police, even if the accident is minor. A police report can be invaluable to the claim process and help establish who's at fault.
  • Check for injuries; call an ambulance when in doubt.
  • Call the police, even if the accident is minor. A police report can be invaluable to the claim process and help establish who's at fault.


3. Collect Information

  • Gather information from others involved in the accident.
    • Drivers and passengers: names and contact information
    • Vehicle descriptions (make, model, year)
    • Driver's license numbers
    • License plate numbers
    • Insurance companies and policy numbers
    • Eyewitnesses: names and contact information
    • Accident scene location and/or address
    • Police officer's name and badge number.
  • Take photos of all vehicles involved and the accident scene, if it is safe to do so.
  • Do not sign any document unless it's for the police or your insurance agent.
  • Be polite, but don't tell anyone the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.


4. File a Claim

  • You can start the claim process immediately at the scene and add details when things are calmer.
  • File a claim online, use our easy State Farm® mobile app, or call us at 800-SF-CLAIM (800-732-5246).
  • Notify your insurance agent as soon as possible.


5. Get Roadside Assistance

  • If your vehicle isn’t drivable after an accident, learn about roadside assistance and request roadside service from State Farm.