A car accident can be a traumatic experience, especially if it’s your first accident. Accident victims usually don’t know what to do when they’ve just experienced a crash. Learning important steps to take at the scene, as well as what not to do, could potentially save you a great deal of hassle and money. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

Call 911 as soon as you can. It’s extremely important to have the accident documented by the police in the form of an accident report. This official record will be useful while dealing with the insurance company, and if you end up with a legal case as a result of your accident.

Stay where you are. Arizona law requires you to remain at the scene of an accident. Remain at the scene until law enforcement instructs you to leave.

Document everything: Use your phone to record photos and video of the scene of the accident and any damages. Pictures of the other driver’s license plate and car insurance information will also be helpful.

Talk to witnesses: Try to obtain contact information for anyone else who was present at the scene of the accident. Give this information to the police so they’ll have another account of the accident if needed.

Don’t implicate yourself. Let whoever investigates the accident determine who is at fault for the crash. Even if you believe you caused the accident, the other driver could have been at fault as well – fault that wasn’t apparent to you.

See a doctor immediately: After you’re involved in a car crash, it’s important to get medical attention as soon as you leave the scene. Even if you only feel mild pain or soreness after the incident, you should still get yourself checked out that day. A lot of crash victims report feeling fine following the accident, but injuries become apparent hours or days later. It’s important to have medical records showing you sought medical treatment soon afterward to support your injury claims.

Seek an experienced personal injury attorney for your claim. Having a lawyer’s support and advice following a car accident is invaluable. An attorney will guide you through the complex legal process and remove a lot of the pressure, allowing you to focus on recovery. Izzy Yetnikoff is an experienced accident and injury attorney. For more information or for legal advice, call Yetnikoff Law Offices, PLLC at 800-279-6331.