If you drive a car, truck or motorcycle on a regular basis, chances are that you will be involved in at least one accident in your lifetime. Depending on the severity of the crash you are in, there may be shattered glass, smoke and even fire. Knowing what to do in the moments that follow the accident can be vital to your health — and to your legal case.

Below are tips on what to do after being involved in an auto accident:

  • Call 911: Don’t try to assess your own injuries — leave that to the doctors. Instead, call 911 and wait for emergency services to arrive. A doctor can diagnose the full extent of your injuries.
  • Take photographs: If possible, photograph the scene of the accident with your cell phone or camera. Be sure to take pictures of your car, the other driver’s car and any other factors that may have contributed to the crash.
  • Obtain witness information: If any witnesses are still around, write down their names, phone numbers and addresses. Witness testimonies are invaluable to your legal case.
  • Obtain a copy of the police report: If police arrive at the scene, make sure you obtain a copy of the police report.
  • Follow your doctor’s orders: When you get home, be sure to follow the prescribed treatment your doctor gave you. Not only can this improve your condition, it is important should you wish to file an injury claim.
  • Contact an attorney: You can contact a lawyer at any moment after a car accident. He or she can carefully listen to the facts of your case and provide you with sound advice about what you should do next.