Being involved in a fender bender can be stressful. However, major car crashes can be downright terrifying to experience and can easily lead to life altering injuries

By practicing safe driving habits, you can prevent many car accidents. However, sometimes crashes occur anyway. If that happens, it can be helpful to already have an understanding of the steps you should take following the accident.

Immediately after

Immediately after the crash, you should pull over to the side of the road, stop your vehicle and put on your hazard lights. Once your vehicle is safely stopped, check to see if anyone involved in the accident is injured.

If there are injuries, call 911 right away. Do not move anyone who is injured, and if you are injured, ask to not be moved except by emergency responders. Some injuries, like spinal cord injuries, can become more severe if not moved properly. Although you should request an ambulance if anyone is injured, calling police to the scene can also be helpful because the officer can help collect information that could be useful later if an insurance claim or lawsuit is filed.

In situations that do not seem to involve injuries, you should trade names and contact information with everyone involved in the accident as well as any witnesses. You should also try to collect the license plate numbers, insurance companies and registered owners of all vehicles that were involved in the crash. If you have a camera with you, consider taking photographs of the scene and damage to the vehicles.

Follow up after the crash

Even if there are no apparent injuries, you are legally required to report the accident to the police if there are over $500 in damages. You should also report the incident to your insurance company right away, so it can be prepared for whatever actions may occur in response to the crash.

If you did not notice any injuries immediately after the crash, you may still want to schedule a medical examination as soon as possible. Sometimes symptoms of serious injuries are not immediately apparent, and may show up when your adrenaline rush subsides or as swelling increases. A medical professional will be able to help rule out potential problems and help you monitor any ongoing risks.

Car crashes can be traumatic experiences and can lead to serious injuries. If you were seriously injured in a car crash, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills and other related expenses.