Accidents happen, and chances are you or someone you know has been involved in one. Some accidents aren’t too big a deal, a dent here and there. Some, unfortunately, can be fatal or cause extreme pain.

Hopefully, if you are involved in an accident, it is not a serious one. But although accidents are fairly common, many people don’t know the proper steps they should take in the event they are in one. Here are the steps you should do when you’re in an accident.

Try to Get to a Safe Spot
Your number one priority is the safety of you and your passengers. First and foremost, you should turn your car’s hazard lights on and get to a safe location. If your vehicle is still operable, try your best to get it out of any traffic.

Call the Police
Regardless of the extent of the accident, it is highly beneficial to have a police report. In the state of Washington, a police report is required when there has been an injury or death or there was over $1000 in damages to either party’s vehicle/property.

Be Calm and Avoid Conflict
Once you have called for police or other emergency services, you should talk with the other parties involved. No one is going to be happy about what just happened, because accidents are stressful and emotional situations.

Exchange your Information
You should exchange the following information with the other driver:
-Phone Number
-License Plate Number
-Insurance company and policy number

Try to Take Some Pictures
If you can, safely take some photos of the accident. The reason why it is so crucial is that a picture will show the cause of the accident, any contributing factors that could have led to it, and the extent of damages to the vehicle or that the victims suffered.

Legal Precautions
Don’t admit fault when you are talking with the other drivers. You should also always stay at the scene until you have been released by the police. If you or your loved ones were injured in an accident, you should not wait to get legal advice. Auto accident and personal injury cases are much stronger when a specialized lawyer is involved early on.