Even relatively minor accidents can be stressful. Even if you think you know what to do, you may find yourself reacting differently in the heat of the moment. After checking for injuries among you and your passengers, the next steps will be crucial to ensure your rights are protected. That’s why U.S. News & World Report offers the following advice to motorists.  

While it may not seem necessary in less serious accidents, it’s recommended that you call the police right away. Along with directing traffic and ensuring any injured people are provided the proper medical care, the police will also ask questions of the drivers involved to file a police report. This report can be very useful when reporting the accident to an insurance company or even taking the case to court when necessary.  

In the same token, it’s important to exchange insurance information with any other drivers involved. You’ll need the person’s name, and the name of their insurance company in order to make a claim. While it’s OK to speak with other drivers, don’t admit fault or say anything that could be construed in that way. Even a seemingly harmless statement can come back to haunt you if you aren’t careful.  

Along with requesting a copy of the police report, you should also ask any bystanders at the scene if they’d be willing to make a statement. If so, ask for the person’s contact information so they can be consulted at a later date. Bystanders can provide an unbiased version of events, which is very valuable for establishing fault. You can also take pictures of the scene, damage to your vehicle, and road conditions at the time of the accident.