Not many people are familiar with what they need to do after a motor vehicle collision.  It may be surprising to learn the steps a victim takes after a collision can significantly affect the odds of receiving fair compensation for an individual’s injuries and damages.

It is especially important to know what to do following an collision during the “100 deadliest days of summer,” the period between Memorial Day and Labor day, that experienced increased car crashes and deaths. Here are five things you can do to protect your best interests after a crash:

  1. Get to safety

Before doing anything else, make sure you and others around you are safe. Look for leaking fluids or smoke coming from vehicles, as they may indicate signs of more extreme dangers ahead. If you or anyone else needs medical attention, call an ambulance immediately.

  1. Call the police

When the police arrive at the crash scene, they generally collect information from the parties and witnesses and use it to generate a police report. This report is an excellent resource in establishing what occurred for use by insurance companies and, in some cases, attorneys.

  1. Gather information

If possible, collect the other driver(s) contact information and automobile insurance information. Ask the other driver(s) to take a photograph of their driver’s license.  If there were any eyewitnesses at the scene try to obtain their contact information and ask if you may record their account of what occurred by audio or video.  Testimony can change as time passes, so it is vital to get this information while it is still fresh in the witness’ memory.

  1. Record the scene of the crash

Take plenty of photographs and video of the crash scene, and vehicles involved, from a variety of angles and distances.  These images can often be beneficial establishing what occurred.

  1. Contact an attorney

Insurance companies will often have victims believe an attorney only slows down the process of receiving compensation for one’s losses. The truth of the matter is that attorneys know how to best value the amount of money in which you should be entitled.  Experienced attorneys also know how to best negotiate the fair and reasonable value of you claims.

After an automobile crash, people can be a little shaken and sometimes it can be hard to remember what all you should do. So, after a crash, try to keep calm and follow the steps above to maximize the compensation in which you are entitled.