If you’re in a car accident, don’t let the situation go from bad to worse. Know what to do to prevent further headaches and legal problems.

Follow the eight steps below:

  1. Be prepared. Unfortunately, accidents occur every day. Make sure you’re prepared. Keep proof of insurance in your car. It’s a good idea to have a camera, too.
  2. Stop. Whether or not the accident is your fault, you need to stop. Otherwise, you can be found guilty of a hit and run, the penalties for which may include fines, loss of license, and even jail time. If you hit another car, someone’s property or a pedestrian, stop.
  3. Assess the situation. Determine whether anyone is hurt. Make sure you’re safe from further accidents, and turn on your car’s hazard lights. Use road flares if you have them.
  4. Call the police if necessary. If anyone has been injured, call 911 for emergency assistance.
  5. Get the right information. You’ll need to exchange information with the other driver, including names, contact information, and insurance information. Take photographs to document the damage. If there are witnesses, ask them to stay and get their contact information, too.
  6. Notify the DMV. According to California law, you must report an accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days if there is more than $750 in property damage or if anyone is injured. You can use the Traffic Accident Report Form here.
  7. Get medical help. If you think you’ve suffered any injuries, get a medical checkup.
  8. Contact Us. We’re here to help you after an accident. Whether or not it was your fault, contact Dashers Insurance as soon as possible.