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What To Do In Case Of An Auto Accident

What These Words Mean

Scene-The place where the accident happened.
Witness-A person who saw the accident happen.

Keep this brochure with a pencil and paper and your insurance card in your car.

Stop At The Scene

You cannot drive away from an accident. You must stay until you have given your name and address to a police officer or the other driver.

Get Help For The Injured

Call 911 or "0" on a telephone or ask someone to call for you. Do not try to move an injured person.

Give Warnings

Ask another person to volunteer to wave to other cars to warn them of the accident. Use lights or a flashlight at night to warn other cars.

Tell A Police Officer

Tell a police officer, a county sheriff or the Missouri Highway Patrol that you had an accident. The police report can help you later if you forget facts.

Give them your name and address and show them your driver's license and your insurance card. This is all you must do to obey Missouri law.

You do not need to tell any person, other than a police officer, how you think the accident happened. You may learn later that you did not do anything wrong. You should not sign any papers at the scene except the agreement to appear in court if asked by an officer.

Get Witnesses' Names, Addresses, and Phone Numbers

Ask all witnesses to write down their names, addresses and telephone numbers.

Write answers to questions on a blank page in this booklet. Draw a picture of the accident scene, also.


If you cannot drive your car, you must have it moved from the scene. If the police officer calls a tow truck, you should ask how much it will cost, tell the tow driver where to take your car, and ask for his name, address and telephone number if you do not go with him.

Call Your Insurance Agent

You must tell your insurance agent about the accident. Your lawyer can help with the report. Your insurance could be lost if you do not tell the agent right away.

See A Doctor

You may not know if you are hurt because you may be upset. It is a good idea to see a doctor.

Call A Lawyer

Talk to a lawyer before talking to anyone else about the accident. A lawyer knows how to help you.

Missouri Accident Reports

It is Missouri law that you must file a written report with the Department of Revenue if these things happen:

  • Either car has $500 damage or a person was injured;
  • The accident was on a public street or highway;
  • A driver does not have insurance; or
  • You can get forms from a police department, your insurance company, or your lawyer.

Pay Nothing

Do not pay anyone money unless your lawyer tells you to pay.

For Legal Advice See Your Lawyer

For legal advice see your lawyer. If you need help finding a lawyer call the Missouri Bar Lawyer Referral Service at 573/636-3635.

In St. Louis call 314/621-6681
In Kansas City call 816/221-9472
In Springfield call 417/831-2783
The Missouri Bar, P.O. Box 119, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0119

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