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.
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 (1-800-732-52461-800-732-5246).
- Notify your insurance agent as soon as possible.