7 Steps to Follow if You Are in a Car Accident

 Emergency telephone numbers:

  • Call 119 for an ambulance.

  • Call 110 for the police.

1. Make sure everyone is safe.  If someone is hurt, get them to a hospital. Do not let anyone leave the scene of the accident. For this reason, in the case of emergencies, it is best to carry your health insurance card with you at all times and to keep a photocopy in your car.

2. Contact the police to report the incident.  The police  will assign a portion of the blame for the accident to all parties involved.  While it might be tempting to settle the matter ‘off the record,’ the only way to protect yourself from being sued is to make sure that there is an official record. Insist that the police get involved, even if your car is barely scratched.

3.  Inform your supervisor as soon as you’re physically able to, so that your supervisor can help with instructions, doctor’s explanations, etc.

4.  Report the incident to your insurance company. Your supervisor should be able to assist you during this process.

5.  If the accident occurred on the way to work, contact your school as soon as you are able, so they can expect your absence and make alternate plans for lessons.

6. Be prepared to pay for medical certificates, health certificates, traffic accident certificates and other paperwork.

7.  The insurance company will take care of most of the paperwork, but be mentally prepared for it to take time.  It is possible for insurance claims to take 6 months or more to be processed.


Regardless of being in a car accident or not, keep a laminated card with your critical information on it.  This card should contain emergency contact numbers, your name, health insurance card, blood type, allergies and any other relevant health information in Japanese, so if you are incapacitated or unconscious others can assist you in an emergency.

One JET found that Kasuga Jidosha (春日自動車) in Izumo was quite experienced in dealing with the insurance claims, provided great service, and were quite flexible when it came to payments related to the accident.  This JET paid for the expenses related to the car accident through manageable monthly installments.

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