What Not to Do After a Car Accident?


What not to do after a car accident is very important to know. No matter who is at fault for the collision, you should never leave the scene of the accident. 

After you are involved in the accident, it’s a good idea to move away from traffic and make sure everyone is safe. After that, either call the police or go to the nearest police station to report it. Before you leave the scene, make sure you exchange insurance contact information with the other driver. By law, Illinois considers hit and runs:

  • Class A misdemeanors if the accident involves property damage only, punishable by up to 364 days in jail. A fine of $2,500 is also part of the punishment.
  • A Class 4 felony if the accident involves a personal injury, punishable by up to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
  • A Class 3 felony if the accident involves a death, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Even if you know you are responsible for the auto accident, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urges drivers from claiming responsibility. It is best to let professionals like police officers and insurance claims specialists determine who is at fault. At any rate, only provide facts and keep any personal opinions out of the report.


Be sure to take plenty of pictures of the car accident scene and any damages to the cars and people involved. Be sure to include details like skid marks and the weather conditions. Pictures are a great form of evidence, especially if the other party tries to deny your version of the events. They may try to commit insurance fraud and exaggerate the damage to the car or their injuries. Pictures will also help insurance claim adjusters with the claim process.


Your insurance company may not require a police report to file a claim, however, it is always in your best interest to get one. In Illinois, both drivers must report a car crash to the Department of Transportation within 10 days of the accident. You only have to report the accident if there is a death, injury or if the damage is more than $1,500. Not reporting an accident is punishable by license suspension and a separate police report must be filed as well.


It’s normal to be upset after a car accident but losing your temper will not make the situation better. Staying calm helps you think rationally, stay safe and provide helpful information to the police and your insurance company. Take some time and take a few deep breaths after an accident to calm yourself down.


You may feel fine after a car accident, but it is important to not ignore any delayed pain. You may begin to feel some discomfort a few days or even weeks after an accident, which is why it is important not to sign a release after an accident. It is common for pain to be delayed after a car accident. The pain you can experience includes headaches, pain in the neck and shoulders, numbness and abdominal pain.

If you begin to experience any pain after the car accident, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible. As a result, these can be underlying issues for severe health problems.


A claims adjuster will offer the dollar amount he or she thinks the claim is worth and offer a settlement. After you receive the settlement, you do not have to accept this offer. Negotiate with the insurance company for a higher settlement if you think you deserve it. You can do this on your own or hire an attorney to do it for you, or you may even respond with your own counter-offer.

More Information

Do you have any additional questions about what not to do when involved in a car accident? Our agents and customer service team are here to help with your motor vehicle accident needs. Call us today at 888-949-6289 or visit your nearest Insurance Navy location. For your convenience, Insurance Navy is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST, 7 days a week.

Additionally, we can help you find an insurance quote right on our website. Because we want to help you save money wherever possible, we offer our insurance quotes completely free of charge. By navigating our website, you can also inform yourself about many useful topics, such as the time limit required for you to notify the insurance company about a crash, how to file a police report, and situations in which your coverage will pay for repair costs for your vehicle.

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