When you are in a car crash, you are likely going to be shaken up. You need to have a plan in mind to handle the aftermath of a crash before the accident so that you can remember that plan once you have a few moments to gather your thoughts after the crash.

One of the first things that you can do is to give yourself a quick check to see if you have any signs of an injury. Also check on other people in the crash. From there, you will know which emergency services you need to request when you make contact with 911. If anyone is injured, you should get the emergency medical services sent out. Of course, police need to be sent out.

You and the other driver need to exchange vital information. This includes names, driver’s license numbers and insurance information. Try to grab the contact information for any witnesses who are present. Some of this might be present in a police report, so you might be able to gather it from there.

If you are able to do so safely, you can take pictures of the accident. This can help you if you do decide to launch a lawsuit over the outcome of the crash. Try to get pictures of both vehicles and the scenery around the accident. This might provide a better idea of what actually happened.

Contacting the insurance company is also necessary. When you make contact with anyone about the accident, make sure that you aren’t admitting fault for the crash. Even simple statements like apologizing that it occurred could be considered admissions of fault by some individuals. Admissions of guilt can impact your claim for compensation in some cases.

Source: FindLaw, “After a Car Accident: First Steps,” accessed Jan. 12, 2018