Being involved in a car accident can leave you reeling. Whether you’re seriously injured or just dealing with minor cuts and major damage to your vehicle, you might not be in a good frame of mind for paying attention to details. Unfortunately, in the immediate aftermath of an accident, details can become important. Here are three steps that you need to take if possible following a motor vehicle crash.

First, document the accident. If you are not seriously hurt and able to do so, take pictures with a smartphone or other device. These could come in handy if you need to prove anything about the accident later; they might also prove to be valuable evidence if any matter related to the accident goes to court. Write down any information about the accident as soon as possible, including the investigating police officer’s name and the name and contact information of any witnesses.

Next, determine whether an insurance policy will cover the accident. This means determining whether your own policy will kick in or whether someone else caused the accident and their policy should cover it. Make sure you get information from all the other drivers, including their insurance information. It can be a good idea to speak with a personal injury attorney about your options later, and having all this information can help him or her assist you in seeking compensation.

Finally, you’ll need to make decisions about the incident. Are you going to file a claim? If the insurance company offers a certain amount, do you settle or file a lawsuit seeking more appropriate compensation. This is another place where an experienced lawyer can help you understand your options.

Source: Nerd Wallet, “What to Do After a Car Accident,” accessed March 24, 2017