Staying Safe

What To Do After a Car Accident - Part 1

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do after a car accident?

There is no short answer to this question. Please visit our blog, which includes an informative series of videos about the steps you need to take after a car accident. There is much more information there. However, six steps to take after a car accident include the following:

i. Immediately after an accident sequence has stopped you need to ensure your safety as well as the safety of any other passengers in your vehicle. This may require that you stay seat belted in the vehicle until emergency responders arrive. It may also mean that you need to move the vehicle to safety if you can do so without causing further injury or danger to yourself or others.

ii. Get appropriate medical care promptly. The nature and extent of your injuries may not be obvious at the scene of an accident. Therefore, it is appropriate to receive a prompt evaluation by a medical professional to ensure that your injuries are not made worse by a delay in receiving treatment.

iii. Maintain the evidence that you have. If you have any pictures of the scene of the incident, the things involved in the incident (ex: vehicles), or your injuries please save those photos. It’s also important to retain a skilled personal injury attorney promptly so that we can discover, document, identify witnesses and maintain evidence.

iv. Do not talk to insurance companies. You may be contacted by insurance companies or other parties involved in the incident as soon as the day of the incident. It is important to obtain sound legal advice before making any statements or providing information to adverse insurance companies.

v. Hire an experienced personal injury attorney. There is no cost for our initial consultation and there are no upfront fees. We do not recover unless you do. There is no obligation for our initial consultation. Call us today!

vi. Your number one job needs to be to get the care and treatment you need to recover from your injuries. You focus on getting better, trust us with the rest.

Should I move my car after an accident?

If your vehicle is moveable after an accident and leaving it at its point of rest puts you, your passengers, or the motoring public at an unreasonable risk of further injury then you may need to move your vehicle. If your vehicle can remain at its point of rest safely after an accident or the vehicle is disabled or your injuries are so significant that you cannot move the vehicle then do not do so. The vehicle’s point of rest can be documented by photographs, responding law enforcement, and/or other investigators and your emergent treatment for serious injuries needs to be your top priority.


Arthofer & Tonkin is a personal injury law firm, this means that when our clients contact us, it’s after something terrible has happened to them as the result of the negligence of another person. This can be a slip and fall automobile accident, to name a few. People get hurt in all sorts of ways. One of the primary methods, though, is a car accident. So we’re going to have a video series, and this is the first in that series, about what to do after you’ve been in a car accident. Many attorney websites will tell you that the first thing you need to do is call a lawyer. That is important, and we would be grateful if you could contact us immediately. But it’s not the first thing you need to do after an accident. So I hope you have a chance to see this video before you’ve ever been involved in an accident.

But let me talk to you today about car accidents in particular and what to do immediately after impact. First, you need to stay in the vehicle, if you can. This may be counter-intuitive. Everybody wants to get out of a car right after an accident, and that’s completely natural, but when you’re involved in an accident, particularly on a busy roadway, your vehicle is probably the safest place for you to be. So if you’re in an accident and you can’t move your vehicle safely to the side of the road, or you’re in any busy surface street or highway, you need to stay in the car. Not only that, you need to keep your seat-belted. Let me give you an example from one of the cases we’re involved with. Accident, terrible accident, many vehicles involved, including commercial vehicles, and the weather was a factor in this accident. The first accident in this complicated sequence was between two passenger cars. In one of the vehicles involved in that accident, the driver got out. Now he got out to check on the other vehicle involved. Unfortunately, due to limited visibility due to the weather, he was struck as a pedestrian and killed. Had he stayed in his vehicle and stayed seat belt, he would have had minor injuries for which we would gladly have helped him, but now we have a wrongful death case. This is not something anybody wants to be a part of, even the law firm, so please stay safe.

Please stay in your vehicle even after an accident. It still provides you significant protection. Once law enforcement arrives, first responders arrive, you can exit your car. Now, of course, if you can move your vehicle safely out of the roadway, do that as well, but the first thing you need to do after you’ve been injured is to make sure that you stay in a safe spot and you don’t make a bad situation even worse. If you’ve been involved in an accident, give us a call. The consultation is free. We don’t charge for you to talk with us and help you learn about your case and your legal rights. You can contact us through our website at In addition, you can call us at the office at 530-722-9002. We hope we don’t have to talk to you, but we look forward to the opportunity to do so if you need us.

Contact us. We'll be glad to help you.

At Arthofer & Tonkin Law Offices, we are dedicated to providing our clients with compassionate and experienced representation.

Making sure you receive proper compensation can be challenging and overwhelming after an accident, and we are here to help. Our law firm can provide you with the best personal injury attorney in Redding, California. Contact us now.

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We at Arthofer & Tonkin Law Offices offer our services to those in Redding, Northern California, and all of California.

We are dedicated to providing quality legal services to our clients and helping them through difficult times. If you aren’t sure if your case falls within our service area, don’t hesitate to reach out. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and see how we can help.

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