If you have been in a motor vehicle accident, you need to take five critical steps to assure your safety, protect yourself and do right by everyone on the scene. Do not do just one of the steps. You must do all five of these steps as fast as you can for your own benefit.

1. Call 911

Call 911 as soon as you can. You need to have someone on the scene to help you, and you need to have a police officer on the scene at the very least. You might need to have the fire department or ambulance on the scene, and you can get a lot of the other things on this list done. 911 has a record of when you called, and you can frame the time for your accident.

2. Get the names and phone number of any witnesses

Get contact information from all the people who were around. Of course, not everyone will hang around to give you a witness statement. However, someone will stay so that you can ask them what they saw. Yes, the police will ask the same questions, but it is better to speak to these people yourself. The police report could be used to manage your case, and the police officer can speak to what happened if that is needed.

3. Take pictures and videos with your cell phone

Take pictures and video of the scene with your phone, and get as many angles as you can. It is much easier for you to make your case when you have this information. You can put a time stamp on these pictures and videos because of the cell phone technology we have today. Witnesses at the scene might have pictures and/or video and you need to talk to them to see if they can offer these clips to you.

4. Seek immediate medical attention if you are injured

Immediate medical attention is needed if you feel any pain or even the slightest discomfort. You need to make sure you get a medical evaluation at the first sign of any pain or discomfort, failure to do so, will have a drastic negative effect on any legal that you may want to pursue. If you have not seen a medical professional, it is hard for you to make a case that you were hurt or someone in your vehicle was hurt.

5. Don’t give any statements to an insurance company without speaking with an attorney first

Never talk to the insurance company unless you have talked to a lawyer. The problem with the insurance company is that they will twist your words if you do not speak well. You might have a problem explaining to the insurance company what happened, and it would be smarter for you to have your lawyer speak for you or explain to you what to say. If you are afraid of speaking to an insurance adjuster after the fact, schedule a meeting at your lawyer’s office. If you need advice from your lawyer, call them when you get an unexpected visit from the insurance company.

In conclusion, you can get this information together in just a few minutes after your accident. Get the police out to the scene, meet the EMTs, and get information for the accident attorney. A motor vehicle accident should not be hard to get through because you can easily collect this information in moments. Keep this list in your wallet if you need, and you have a plan to get through this accident.