Do Not Leave
The “fight or flight” mechanism is ingrained in our DNA, so your first instinct might be to leave the scene. Not only is this illegal, but it’s also wrong.
Besides, you or your passengers might have injuries that are not readily apparent. Stay where you are and assess the scene.
Stay Calm & Take Inventory
Once you suppress your adrenaline, take inventory of your situation. How bad is the damage? Are you or your passengers intact? What about the other car?
Find out if everyone involved is safe.
Call the Police
You may not feel like the damage is sufficient enough to get the authorities involved —but to protect yourself in the long run, it’s best to get a full report by a law enforcement officer on file.
After all, your car insurance uses police reports to determine your liability, and leaving without one can leave you on the hook for your repairs, at the very least.
Exchange Insurance Information
This is one of the most important things you can do if you’re in an accident, but while it often shows up at the top of most peoples’ minds when they’re in an accident, making sure you and your passengers are safe and unhurt is the real priority.
After that, exchange all your information with the other driver. Get their insurance policy and number, full name, address, and phone number.
One important thing to note: the law will vary depending on your state, but if the damage exceeds a certain amount (usually around $750), the accident must be reported to the DMV. Failure to report can lead to suspension of your driver’s license.