Despite your best efforts to remain safe on the road, you could find yourself mixed up in the middle of a serious car accident. Should this happen, it’s imperative that you know what steps to take and that you avoid common mistakes along the way.

Here’s what you should do after a car accident:

  • Move to safety: If it’s possible to do so, slowly move your vehicle to safety. The shoulder of the road or a nearby parking lot are your best options.
  • Check yourself for injuries: Should you have a serious injury, such as a deep laceration or broken bone, you’ll want to administer first-aid until help arrives.
  • Call 911: This does two things. First off, it ensures that an ambulance quickly arrives at the scene to treat you and transport you to a local hospital for additional treatment. Secondly, the dispatcher will contact police, with the responding officer taking control of the scene and creating a report based on their findings.
  • Follow the direction of your medical team: Your health is top priority after a car accident, so let your medical team tell you what you should and shouldn’t do in regard to your treatment and recovery.
  • File an insurance claim: As soon as possible, file an insurance claim by calling your agent or using an online claims system (should you have access to one). Don’t say too much during this conversation. Stick to the basics until you have the chance to review your policy and learn more about your legal rights.
  • Collect evidence: Search for evidence to back up your claim that you didn’t cause the accident. For example, pictures of the scene and witness statements can help your case.

Some people are able to efficiently move through these steps after car accident, while others struggle to do so as a result of serious injury or other roadblocks.

As you receive treatment for your injuries, turn your attention to your legal rights and the steps you can take to obtain compensation from the negligent driver. It can be a challenging process, but it’s well worth it in the end.