What to Do Immediately After an Accident

Your actions in the immediate aftermath of an accident can have a significant impact on your safety, well-being, and ability to recover financially in the long run.. Even if you believe you are uninjured after a crash, follow these steps:

  • Stay calm
  • Turn on your hazard lights
  • Get to safety (often, a sidewalk or median)
  • Call 911
  • Exchange information
  • Collect evidence
  • Gather eyewitness information
  • Get a medical examination
  • Call your insurance company to report accident
  • Call an experienced car accident attorney

What Not to Do After An Accident

To protect your recovery, our car accident attorneys at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton have compiled some common mistakes you should avoid in the wake of an accident.

Do NOT Admit Fault

Admitting fault can prevent you from being able to recover the money you deserve later on. Most car accidents are complex, and most states — Arkansas included — allow you to recover even if you were partially at fault for an accident. To protect your right to compensation, you should refrain from claiming responsibility for the accident, and wait for a formal investigation to determine who was at fault.

Do NOT Accept the Insurance Company’s First Settlement Offer

In the days or weeks after the crash, you may be offered a settlement offer from the insurance company. In an attempt to increase their profits, it is common for an insurance company negotiator to extend a “lowball” offer. Never accept an offer before discussing it with your attorney. Doing so can prevent you from being able to seek the full amount of compensation you deserve.

Do NOT Talk About the Accident on Social Media

Insurance adjusters often search for ways to reduce or deny claims. They can use social media as a means to do so. If you talk about your accident online, your words can be twisted and taken out of context, making it look like you have admitted fault or unwittingly revealing details that are contrary to your later representation. Don’t give an insurance adjuster an opportunity to twist your words to try and nullify your chances of getting the money you deserve.

If You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident, Call Us Today!

Our No Fee Guarantee® means you pay us nothing unless we win your case.
Get a Free Consultation

Minor Accidents vs Major Accidents


When a minor car accident occurs, damage to vehicles is usually minimal, and occupants sustain few (if any) injuries. Here are the steps to take immediately after a minor accident.

  • If your car is safe to drive, move your vehicle to safety.
  • If you can’t drive your vehicle, then leave your vehicle where it is and get yourself to a safe location.
  • Even if your accident is considered a fender bender, you must call 911 and report the accident to the police. A police report is invaluable after any crash.
  • Even if you don’t think you’re injured, go should see a medical professional to rule out any possibility of whiplash, migraines or other minor injuries that may not initially be visible.


After a major accident, minutes can make the difference between life and death, and injuries that are not treated quickly can result in life-threatening conditions and permanent disability. As such, your first priority should be to obtain medical help as quickly as possible.

  • Call 911 immediately so that injured passengers can receive prompt emergency medical treatment.
  • Once you and your passengers are in stable condition, your next call should be to an experienced Arkansas car accident attorney. Major car accidents require immediate legal assistance, and your attorney will be able to protect your rights every step of the way, so you can focus on your recovery

Interacting With Police Officers

Immediately after an accident, many drivers want to simply “handle it on their own” and avoid calling the police. However, it’s crucial to notify the police of your accident, even if it’s minor. By law, all drivers who have been involved in an accident that involved property damage in excess of $1,000 or bodily injury must report that accident to the police. Calling 911 after an accident ensures that the police arrive on the scene, view the damage to your vehicle, and write out a comprehensive police report of the events. This police report will be invaluable when you file a claim against the at- fault driver. Without a police report, it’s just your word against theirs. Even if your accident is minor, you must report the accident to the Arkansas Office of Driver Services within 30 days of the crash.

When talking to the police:

  • Be truthful about what happened and answer all questions they ask.
  • Stay calm and choose your words carefully.
  • Never admit fault, even if you believe you were to blame for the accident.
  • Remember, you may not have all the facts regarding the accident, so it’s wise not to speculate on how the accident occurred.
  • Let the police investigate the accident for themselves.
  • If you disagree with the police report or with their conclusions, call an experienced Arkansas car accident attorney immediately.

Car Accident Injuries

Car accident injuries can be devastating and may result in permanent disability and chronic long-term pain and suffering. If you suspect that you’ve been injured in an accident, go see an emergency medical professional as soon as you are able for a full medical examination. Many injuries, such as soft tissue injuries, can only be diagnosed with an MRI or CT Scan.

Your doctor may prescribe medications or physical therapy to help with your injuries. If they do, be certain you are following your doctor’s order precisely and attending all therapy sessions. Failure to follow doctor’s orders may signal to the insurance company that you are not as injured as you claim to be. Keep records of all expenses, including mileage to and from appointments and therapies. Your lawyer will need to take these expenses into account when determining a fair settlement.

Even though the at-fault driver’s insurance company should pay for all of your medical expenses and for any damage done to your vehicle, they will want to pay as little as possible. Your lawyer will work with your medical team to ensure that all of your medical expenses are accounted for before you agree to any settlement.

Taking Legal Action after a Car Accident

Your attorney will negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to ensure that you receive the money you need after a car accident. This often includes compensation for both economic and non-economic damages, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Long-term care costs
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Pain and suffering

If a settlement can’t be reached, your attorney will file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver and your case will proceed to court. While every attempt will be made to settle your lawsuit out of court, your lawyer will be ready to go to trial if necessary to help you obtain a favorable outcome.

Rainwater: Your Advocate After a Car Accident in Arkansas

If your world has been turned upside down by a car accident, we’re here for you. Our experienced team will stand by your side and help you secure the compensation and justice you deserve. Plus, our No Fee Guarantee™ means you pay us nothing unless we win your case.

Time and again, we’ve achieved substantial settlements for our clients in Arkansas, Tennessee, and nationwide. Our mission is to do the same for you. Reach out to Rainwater, Holt & Sexton today and tell us your story.


$1.2 MIL




$4.5 MIL




We’re taking care of you.

Arkansas and Tennessee home and we want to make sure our neighbors and friends are supported after an accident.

With nine offices in Arkansas and Tennessee – Little Rock, Little Rock-Corporate Hill, Springdale, Conway, Hot Springs, Bryant, Jacksonville, Jonesboro, and Memphis— our personal injury lawyers are easily accessible when you need help.

Tell Us How We Can Help

Auto Accident Resources

Should I Get a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?

While most people try to handle minor accidents on their own, it can still be advantageous to hire a car

Learn More
car side of road rolled over

Understanding Vehicle Rollovers: A Comprehensive Guide

Rollover accidents can be severe and complex — drivers must understand how they can happen, how to avoid them, and

Learn More
woman grabbing neck in pain

What Happens To Your Body In A Car Crash?

A car crash can have significant physical and emotional effects on you—so it’s important that you have time to focus

Learn More
line of rental cars with sunshine

What Happens if You Crash a Leased Car?

After getting into an accident with a leased car, you should make sure that everybody involved is safe, then report

Learn More
damaged car from accident , evening

What to Do if the Other Driver Leaves the Scene of an Accident

If you get into an accident and the other driver leaves the scene, the first thing you should do is

Learn More
young couple in kitchen looking a a bill with a laptop

How Much Money Can You Get From a Car Accident?

While the typical car accident settlement will fall between $5,000 and $100,000, your specific recovery could range from a few

Learn More
man sitting by wrecked car at night

What Happens if Someone Else Is Driving Your Car and Gets in an Accident?

In Arkansas, insurance generally follows the vehicle: So, if you give someone permission to use your car and they crash

Learn More
close up dog biting a human arm

Dog Bite

If you suffered an injury from a dog bite attack, you should be able to focus on healing. Our team

Learn More
notebook on table with hand and pen

Average Car Accident Settlement Amount

Many factors influence the settlement you’ll receive after a car accident. Because no two accidents or injuries are identical, it’s difficult

Learn More
Injured man after car accident, holding his head.

Understanding Head Injuries from Car Accidents

If you’ve suffered a head injury in a car accident, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control

Learn More

What to Do After a Car Accident in Arkansas

Immediately after a car accident, you should turn on your hazard lights, get to safety, and try to remain calm.

Learn More
Graphic icons demonstrating various causes of sleep apnea

Common Causes : Truck Sleep Apnea

Every year, there are 15 million commercial trucks on our nation’s roads. These trucks transport over 70 percent of our country’s

Learn More
A semi truck passing a car on the highway

Safety Tips to Prevent Truck Accidents

Across the United States, there was an increase in the number of trucking accidents in 2016. That year alone, more than

Learn More
graphic of semi truck with a detached trailer lying on its side

Trailer Detachment Accidents

Common Causes of Big Truck Accidents Sharing the road with large commercial trucks can be scary. After all, a fully loaded

Learn More
self driving truck accidents

Understanding Self-Driving Truck Crashes in Arkansas

Self-driving trucks have arrived.. Even as legislation lags behind, driverless trucks are hitting the roads in Texas, Florida, and Northwest Arkansas

Learn More