On the Road: What to Do in a Car Accident in an Unfamiliar City


Exploring a new city by car can be a thrilling adventure. Yet, life’s unpredictability can sometimes bring you face to face with unexpected challenges.

One such challenge is a car accident. It’s a situation that can leave you feeling disoriented, anxious, and unsure about what steps to take next.

In these moments of uncertainty, it can seem to be a lot tough. In this article, we will walk you through the process of navigating the aftermath of such an accident in an unfamiliar city.

Staying Calm and Safe at the Scene

Ensuring your safety and the safety of others involved while staying calm is essential. If it’s possible, shift your vehicle to a safe area away from traffic and activate your hazard lights to notify other drivers.

While it’s natural to feel overwhelmed, refrain from discussing fault or blame with the other parties involved. Remain at the scene and wait for the authorities to arrive to manage the situation. Gather crucial information, such as vehicle details, insurance information, and contact information from witnesses.

Contacting Authorities and Insurance

Contact the local police to report the accident, even in the case of a minor incident. They will respond to the scene, evaluate the situation, and create an official report. This report can be invaluable when managing insurance claims in the future.

Also, it’s best to contact the Accident Management Center or AMC as early as possible, states the GSA. By contacting AMC, you can arrange for car repairs, report occurrences, and begin third-party claims. The organization seeks to help people handle the fallout from an incident productively and efficiently. Choosing option 2 when making a call to 866-400-0411 to reach the AMC is suggested.

Also, you are in charge of informing the AMC of accidents as a driver. Utilize these accident report forms to report the occurrence:

  • Form SF91: These need to be completed for each accident. It gives details on the incident’s cause and information about all parties involved.
  • Form SF94: This form that any witnesses must complete. Records the specifics from the viewpoint of the witness.
  • Form SF95: This form that a third party must complete if the government in question is at fault.

Reach out to your insurance company without any delay. They will assist you in navigating the process and furnish crucial details on the subsequent actions. Make sure to have your policy details and the information on hand. Be truthful and clear when describing the occurrence, which will help streamline the claims process.

Seeking Medical Attention

At times, injuries might not be readily evident due to shock or an adrenaline rush. There could be underlying internal injuries or delayed pain that, if unaddressed, may deteriorate over time. Going to a hospital or visiting a local medical facility will ensure you receive a thorough examination by healthcare professionals.

According to Forbes, injury types from automobile accidents can vary widely for drivers, pedestrians, or passengers involved in crashes. It is, therefore, worth noting that these wounds can be generally divided into two groups:

  • Penetrating injuries: These happen when a passenger is struck by stray objects that fly around the car. A window breaking and slashing the person involved in the crash would be one example.
  • Impact injuries: They happen when a passenger collides with any part of the vehicle’s interior. Or is flung from the vehicle and hits the ground or another object. An illustration of such injury would be a driver’s head injury sustained after his head strikes the side windows.

Being aware of both kinds of injuries is essential. These have the potential to be rather serious. Therefore, such injuries must be correctly identified by a medical specialist.

These can support appropriate injury care. For victims who want to seek reimbursement for losses brought on by the collision, the diagnosis can also be recorded.

Legal Considerations

In a car accident in an unknown city, you must be aware of the legal aspects. These can vary depending on the location of the incident and the local laws.

While it’s essential to stay safe and prioritize medical care, understanding your rights and responsibilities is also crucial. Thus, if you believe someone else’s negligence caused the incident, you might seek legal advice. Car accident attorneys can assist in clarifying the legal procedures, your entitlements, and the possibility of compensation.

Russell & Hill notes that legal professionals can offer valuable counsel in such circumstances. They know that for your claim to be processed, it must meet certain requirements. For instance, the aforementioned incident must not be too long ago. The second is that you weren’t held accountable for the mishaps in certain situations are such examples.

Legal considerations can be complex, especially in an unfamiliar city. Therefore, it’s wise to consult with car accident attorneys who understand the specific regulations and can help you navigate the legal side.

Contacting Family and Friends

Informing your family and friends about the accident is especially crucial when traveling alone. Or if they were expecting you to arrive at a certain destination. They might be worried if you don’t check in as planned.

When contacting them, be clear and provide details about your well-being and the situation. It’s natural for your loved ones to be concerned, and hearing your voice and understanding the circumstances can bring them relief.

Documenting the Accident

Start by taking photographs of the scene. Document the vehicles’ positions, any damage, and pertinent road signs or signals. Exchange information with the other parties implicated, including their names, contact details, insurance particulars, and vehicle information.

Documenting the incident is especially crucial when there is a case of hit and run. According to Time, these can be used to cover damages with the help of insurance like uninsured motorist property damage or UMPD.

It is because many states regard the other motorist to be uninsured when it comes to hit-and-run. You won’t find out whether or not the driver has insurance because they left the scene. Therefore, speak with an insurance representative with valid documentation to get the details required for this coverage. It is equally vital to be aware of the location being a major factor, as some states allow it and some don’t.

After the Accident: Moving Forward

Follow up on any necessary medical care. If you received medical care at the scene, ensure you follow any recommended treatment. If you haven’t sought medical assistance yet, it’s never too late to do so; your well-being should remain your foremost concern.

Reach out to your insurance company and furnish them with all pertinent details regarding the accident. They can guide you through the claims process, explain what coverage you have, and help with repairing or replacing your vehicle.


While exploring new places, an accident can be a frightening and unexpected event. But knowing what to do in an unfamiliar city can make all the difference. Stay calm, ensure safety, and contact the authorities, insurance, and your loved ones. Document the incident and seek legal advice. Moving forward, prioritize your health and follow up on the required medical care.


By Clare Louise