Crash Course: 4 Things TO DO After a Vehicle Collision

The time following a vehicle collision can feel overwhelming, but it’s important to remember several key things to make sure everybody is safe, and follow-ups go smoothly. Make sure you do these 4 things to cover your bases after a crash.

Stay Calm and Take Care of Immediate Danger

Assess the situation, and call 9-1-1 if you or anybody else is in need of medical care, if there are hazardous materials in the roadway, or you otherwise need the assistance of first responders.

Gather Evidence and Exchange Information

Even if the collision seems minor, don’t assume you’ll remember all the details. Take photos of the damage to both cars, and note information about the scene (crash site, weather, witnesses). Make sure to exchange the following information with the other driver or pedestrian involved:

  • Name
  • Address/phone number
  • Driver license number
  • License plate number
  • Insurance information

Many people feel shaken up after a collision, and if they take pictures of drivers licenses and license plates, they don’t run the risk of writing things down incorrectly or have trouble reading their handwriting later.

File an Accident Report

You must file an Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report with DMV within 72 hours when:

  • Damage to any vehicle is over $2,500 (even if your vehicle was the only one in the crash);
  • Any vehicle is towed from the scene;
  • Injury or death resulted from this collision; or
  • Damage to anyone’s property other than a vehicle involved in this accident is more than $2,500.

Note: A police report does not count as filing an accident report with the DMV. You must also file a report with the DMV.

Get Representation, if Needed

If the collision may require further legal help, it’s best to get advice from a legal professional. Your auto insurance company does not represent you in pursuing any claim that you may need to make. The laws are complex and change often, and rushing to settle a claim can result in mistakes and less than fair compensation. We’re happy to talk with you if you’re unsure whether to represent yourself, or seek professional representation.