When you get behind the wheel to drive, you are always at risk of getting into an injurious or even a fatal accident. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2018, 33,654 people in the U.S. died in car accidents.

Since the chance of getting into a car crash is always there, it is a good idea to know how to handle the aftermath of a collision. Here are a few steps you should take following a car accident to protect your interests.

1. Seek medical care

Right after the crash, call an ambulance to the scene if it looks like you or someone has suffered a serious injury. Even if you do not need medical care right away, make sure you go see your doctor soon after the collision to take care of any developing car accident injuries.

2. Gather information and evidence

Write down the contact information and insurance information of the opposing driver. You should also write down the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the crash. Additionally, take photos of the scene of the accident, including pictures of all cars involved, the intersection, your injuries and the surrounding area.

3. Document your recovery

Healing mentally and physically from the car accident may take time. If you sustained injuries in the crash, take notes outlining your recovery process. You should also keep copies of any documentation related to the crash, including transcripts of conversations with insurance professionals, receipts for medical care, rehabilitation, prescriptions, etc.