You never want to find yourself managing the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, but proper preparation allows you to do so in the appropriate manner.

While no two accidents are the same, here are five basic steps you can take to maintain control over the situation:

  • Move to safety: If at all possible, move your vehicle out of traffic. Furthermore, don’t get out of your vehicle if it puts you at risk of being struck by a passing vehicle. Stay put until help arrives.
  • Check yourself for injuries: Some injuries are easy to spot, such as if you’re suffering severe pain from a broken bone and deep laceration. Others, however, may not present right away, such as if you struck your head on the dashboard. It can take a few minutes or even hours for concussion symptoms to present.
  • Call 911: Even if you think you can manage the scene on your own, it’s best to call 911 for help. The dispatcher can keep you calm, all while sending police and an ambulance to the scene.
  • Obtain medical treatment: If you’re lucky, you’ll escape the accident without injury. However, you’ll never know for sure until you receive a medical examination. Ask the responding paramedics to transport you to a local hospital for treatment. If everything checks out, good. But if it doesn’t, you’re in the right place to receive thorough and timely treatment.
  • File an insurance claim: Once your health is stable and you have the chance to review the police report, you can contact your insurance company to file a claim. Doing so takes great care, as your approach will affect what the future brings. Understanding the terms and conditions of your policy will help you protect your legal rights, all so you can obtain the compensation you deserve.

These are the types of steps you should take after a motor vehicle accident. Your health is more important than anything, but your financial well-being isn’t far behind.

By taking the right steps at the right time, you prevent a situation in which your decisions cause more stress than good.