No matter how hard you try to avoid trouble on the road, there’s always a chance you could be part of a car accident.

Since you’ll have a lot going through your mind in the moments following a crash, you’ll want to have a clear idea of the steps you should take. Here are some of the many things you need to do:

  • Focus on your safety above all else, which means moving your vehicle out of traffic (if possible)
  • Check yourself and your passengers for injuries
  • Call 911, as this ensures that police and an ambulance arrive at the scene
  • Use first aid practices to treat injuries until an ambulance arrives
  • If possible, exchange information with the other people involved in the accident
  • Follow the advice of your medical team
  • Contact your insurance company to file a claim

Some of these steps are easier to take than others. For example, you may find it difficult to do anything after a crash if you have suffered a serious injury, such as a broken bone or concussion. In this case, you simply need to focus on your health and well-being. There will be time for everything else at a later date.

Once you receive treatment and speak with your insurance company, you’ll have a better idea of where things stand and the steps to take in the near future. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, such as if a distracted driver struck your vehicle, you may need to take additional steps with the idea of protecting your legal rights.

Source: State Farm, “How to Handle an Accident,” accessed May 30, 2018