Car accidents happen every day and no matter how hard we try, sometimes they are unavoidable. That’s why they’re called “accidents,” right?

Here are 9 ways to CYA (Cover Your. . .Butt) after you are involved in an accident:

  • Get off the Road

The safety of those involved as well as any others nearby is first and foremost. Moving cars off the road helps protect those involved from experiencing further personal or property damage.

  • Check for Injuries

Starting with those in your vehicle, check to see if everyone is ok and do not hesitate to call 911 if you or any of your passengers are in need of medical attention. Once everyone in your car is checked on and found to be ok, it is encouraged to check on those in other vehicles involved and offer assistance if at all possible. Avoid the worries of placing blame at this point as the well-being of everyone involved should be top priority.

  • Documentation

Cameras and smartphones are a great way to document everything at the scene of an accident including the position of the cars, passengers involved, any damage, and the environment in which the accident took place. You can also take pictures of documents such as insurance cards and driver’s licenses to ensure accuracy. Videos can also be helpful in recording things like weather and traffic conditions.

  • Notify Your Insurance Company

Calling your insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible is important to start the process of recovery regarding both physical and financial damages. Do not, however, attempt calling anyone while driving.

  • Do Not Sign Anything

Signing anything, especially statements regarding fault or releasing someone else from fault, could significantly impact your ability to pursue your legal rights.

  • Seek Medical Care

Consult a doctor if you sustain an injury regardless of how insignificant it may seem. Staying aware of your health and speaking to medical professionals not only help your physical recovery but also aid in documenting that attention was sought out and given.

  • Seek Legal Advice

Oftentimes, insurance companies pay their clients much less than what they actually deserve. And while they are an important part of the process, seeking legal advice can help set you up for the best possible outcome by exploring the details and evidence of a case to determine who is liable and helping to maximize recoveries. By consulting legal counsel, you can also avoid the potential pitfalls of settling your case for a quick payout, which will most likely jeopardize your ability to make future claims associated to the accident.

  • Be Careful

Talking to others outside of your legal counsel about your accident is highly discouraged as anything you say can be used against you and is oftentimes recorded. It is always wisest to avoid conversations that have not been discussed with and approved by your attorney first.

  • Keep a Log

It is wise to continue to write things down throughout the process, including follow-up conversations pertaining to the accident, doctor visits, etc. Keeping a detailed journal of these accounts can help things stay organized and can possibly benefit your case if legal action is pursued.

Being in an accident can be stressful enough on its own, so preparing for what to do after an accident can put you in the best possible position for what’s to come so you can focus more on recovery.