Whether you have been involved in a minor fender bender or a serious car accident, the moments following the collision can be stressful and overwhelming. You may have received extensive damage to your vehicle or could suffer from injuries as a result of another person’s negligent behavior. It is crucial that you take the right steps to ensure that you will be fairly compensated for your injuries, property damage and emotional trauma that often stems from a catastrophic accident.

According to State Farm, you should first make sure that everyone is safe and out of harm’s way. In some cases, you may need to move the vehicles involved in the accident out of traffic. However, this may not always be an option. Accident victims should call law enforcement as soon as possible and let them know if anyone was injured in the accident.

It is important to document the accident scene. If possible, take pictures with your cellphone and write down a full account of what happened. Be sure to get the names, contact information, licenses and insurance information from everyone involved in the accident. You may even be able to speak to anyone who witnessed the collision. When speaking with law enforcement officers and insurance agents, only state the facts of what occurred. Since the aftermath of an accident can be extremely chaotic, you don’t want to inadvertently add details to the story that may complicate matters in the future.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.