A car crash can change your life in an instant. Perhaps you were driving to the grocery store, headed to work or picking up your kids from school. Suddenly, another vehicle hits yours. Your car may need extensive repairs. You or your loved ones may have injuries that require care. The steps you take in the aftermath of a car accident could be key in getting the medical and financial support you need to recover.

1. Immediately after the crash, get yourself and your loved ones to safety if possible.

After a crash, the most important step to take is to get to safety if you can. Pulling over to the side of the road can prevent further damage to your vehicle and allow you to safely wait for the authorities to arrive.

2. Contact the authorities.

Even if the accident seems to be a simple fender bender, you should still contact the police and make a report. That report could be key in getting compensation from your insurance company or for taking future legal action against the other driver if necessary.

3. Exchange information with the other driver.

The police report may document the accident, but you should still write down the contact information of the other driver involved in the crash. Also be sure to record their insurance information, information about their vehicle and other information for future reference.

4. Get medical care, even if you do not believe that your injuries are serious.

Documenting the damage done by the crash should include documenting any injuries you or your loved ones sustained. Your injuries might not seem serious, but getting medical attention as soon as possible ensures that you can link those injuries to the accident. It may also help doctors identify and treat injuries that might not be immediately apparent, including concussions.

If you have questions about your legal options after a car accident, you may also find it helpful to contact an attorney.