A car wreck can significantly disrupt your life. Injuries can cause you to miss work, pile on medical debt, and leave you without a reliable vehicle, on top of the mental stress it inflicts. Even minor crashes can create problems.

If you’ve been in a car wreck, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if it seems minor. Being checked out is necessary, since most pain from a minor car wreck doesn’t develop until the next day or later.

What to do—and not do—at the scene

At the site of the wreck, you’ll want to take pictures of your vehicle and the other vehicles involved. This is important to document for insurance purposes, and to make sure that you have any evidence you’ll need. You should also photograph any injuries you have.

Most often, a police officer is dispatched and shows up to assess the damage and collect information to share with all who are involved. In cases where an officer is unavailable, collect the information yourself, including the insurance information from each driver.

Avoid talking about how the accident happened and admitting or contemplating fault with the other drivers and passengers. It’s better to wait until you have an attorney to describe what occurred before, during, and after the wreck.

Opening a personal injury case

Following a car wreck, you might be eligible for a personal injury claim. Insurance companies will typically Make sure any discussions or references to your record are in the presence of your attorney.