What to Do After a Car Accident That’s Not Your Fault

Sep 2, 2019 | Car Accidents

You’re minding the rules of the road, and all of a sudden you get rear-ended. The first things that come to mind may be, “I don’t have time for this,” “I hope there’s not a huge dent,” and “I’m going to give this irresponsible driver a piece of my mind.”

While there’s never a good time to have a car accident, if you keep our tips in mind, you’ll have a better chance of achieving a favorable outcome.

Regardless of the circumstances of the accident, there are basic guidelines to follow to protect your rights and ensure that you receive just compensation for injuries.


While you don’t want to leave the scene of the accident, you do need to get your vehicle off the roadway right away. Also make sure you and the other parties are out of the way of further harm.
From there, check to see that everyone is okay, and if someone is hurt, contact an ambulance. Resist the instinct to move people who have sustained an injury unless they are in immediate danger in their current position.


It’s natural to feel angry that an irresponsible driver caused you harm, harm to your passengers, and damage to your vehicle. However, losing your temper at the scene of the accident is counterproductive, and it can escalate into a violent (or at least unpleasant) scenario.

By maintaining a cordial and respectful tone, you’ll encourage cooperation from the other party and avoid unnecessary conflict.


Once you’ve established that everyone is okay, and an ambulance called, get the other driver’s contact information. Ask for their driver’s license and write down (or take a picture with your phone) their name, phone number, and address. Also obtain their insurance card and write down the name, address and telephone number of the insurance company and the policy number. Ask for an email address to have another point of contact.

If there were any witnesses, they might have stopped to check to see if everyone is okay. Ask the witnesses for their information, and take notes or record their account of the accident to use as evidence.

Take photographs and/or video evidence of the damage. Thoroughly inspect the car and record any damage. Take pictures of the other driver’s car, especially the license plate.

To sum up, here’s the information you need:

– The other driver’s name, address, phone number (and optionally, an email address)

– Details about the car (year, make, model, color)

– The other driver’s insurance carrier and policy number

– Contact information and statements from any witnesses

– Photos or videos of the scene, including the license plate of the driver

– Location of the accident

– If a police officer responded, document their name and badge number.


In Arizona, a police report needs to be filed in the following circumstances:

– There is an injury or fatality

– There is property damage over $1,000

– A police officer issues a citation

Police reports provide full details of an incident and can be used to determine fault. If your case escalates to a lawsuit, the report can also serve as leverage for a settlement.