From minor collisions to major pileups, car accidents can be incredibly scary, whether you are at fault or not.

That’s why it’s so important to understand what to do if you are involved in one. Keep reading to learn the steps you should follow if you crash your car.

The most important thing to do after you crash your car is to stop.

Whether it’s a minor fender bender or you were the only vehicle involved, you should never leave the scene of an accident without at least checking it out.

If you were the only car, put your vehicle in park and get out of the car, if you can do so safely. Check out the damage that you caused, such as to a wall or sign that you might have hit.

If there really is no visible damage at all, it’s probably okay to continue on. But if there’s so much as a tiny scratch, you’ll need to contact the property owner or police to report the accident.

Leaving the scene of an accident will result in additional points on your license, could cause your license to be revoked or suspended, or could even lead to you getting arrested.

Get to a Safe Spot

While you shouldn’t leave the scene of an accident, you should get to a safe spot. If the wreck happened in the middle of a busy interstate, getting to the shoulder is a good idea, just in case an additional accident occurs.

In some states, you are required to move your vehicle to the shoulder as well, if you are able to. If that isn’t a law in your state, it’s a good idea to leave your car where it is so that police can better reconstruct the accident.

Before you move, it’s a good idea to do a quick self-evaluation for any injuries. If you think you’ve suffered a back or neck injury, staying put, as long as it’s safe to do so, can prevent further damage.

Once you get yourself to safety, check with other drivers and passengers for injuries.

Call 911

Next, call 911. No matter how minor the accident, you’ll need to get a police report.

Explain the situation to the dispatcher. He or she can help you figure out whether or not to move your vehicles. The more information they know, the more they can tell the officers headed to the scene as well.

Don’t forget to let the dispatcher know about any injuries as well so that they can send an ambulance if necessary.

Call a Lawyer

After the police have made their report and your car has been towed or can be safely driven away, you might want to call a lawyer.

Whether you were at fault or not, having a lawyer to help you through the legal process after a serious accident can be a big relief.

Wondering whether you really need legal help? Check out sweetlaw.com for the latest accident news to see just how serious–not to mention complicated–auto accidents can be.

Stay Calm

From the moment after you crash your car to when you begin working with a lawyer, the best thing you can do is remain calm.