America runs on its motor vehicles. They are everywhere speeding down highways, country roads and city streets. With more than 268 million vehicles registered and as many as 70 million on the road at any given time, it is no surprise that vehicle accidents happen so often.

Most vehicle accidents are minor and cause damage but no serious injuries, but there is still a large percentage that do cause injury and some cause serious injury and death. If you are in your car or on the sidewalk or crosswalk and are struck by a motor vehicle, it can be very traumatic. Cars are large and heavy vehicles and can cause a lot of damage to the delicate human body.

Experienced San Francisco car accident attorney, Jeffrey Nadrich, notes, “the reality is that if you are the victim of a motor vehicle accident, you need to do all you can to keep your head and try to remain calm because those few minutes after a crash can be valuable in terms of your receiving justifiable compensation from the accident.”

So if you are in an accident, and are able to still function here are some notes for you to follow to improve your chances of getting a settlement from a personal injury claim.

If there is someone with you when you have the accident and are not able to do any of the things listed here because you are too badly injured, perhaps that person can do them for you. Or at the very least, you should memorize this list so later on you can fill in the details from what you remember in your head.

Dial 911

The most important thing is to get the police and ambulance at the scene. You need to do this as quickly as possible because every second counts. If the accident was even a moderate collision you need and ambulance on site to check everyone’s health status. Remember, some injuries are hard to judge and other show no or hardly any outside trauma. Let the professionals handle the medical treatment when they arrive.

The police should be called as well. The police will close off the area and direct traffic, preventing any further injuries to anyone. They will also take a police report which will be an official version of what they observed and what they believe happened. Having this will be critical for your car accident case. Finally, police calm every one down. They can make sure that all the parties are calm and handling the situation properly and as calmly as possible.

Take pictures of everything

This should include your automobile or other vehicle from every angle, and focusing particularly on damage from the accident. , the person who hit you and their vehicle and any damage cause by either of your vehicles. You want to be able to tell the story of what happened with pictures so include any witnesses as well

Take information from the other driver

You need license registration, current address, phone number, license plate number, and email address. All take pictures so this person cannot claim to have not been driving.

Look for eyewitnesses and get their information

Ask anyone if they saw anything and if their answer is yes, write down their phone and email addresses. Also ask if anyone has any video of the accident that they can share with you. Your attorney will want to interview all of these people.

Make you own version of what happened

Write out in long had or record on your phone what you remember about the accident. Explain the accident scene. Detail any pertinent information about the other driver. Does he appear impaired? What is his state of mind? These are important details to know. Make a diagram of the street where the accident took place so it can be reconstructed later. Put in details like street names, utility poles if any were struck and any other detail that is important.

Again you may not be able to do any or all of these things if you are severely injured and in a lot of pain, but perhaps someone is with you who is not seriously injured and you can direct that person to do these things. If so, it can be really helpful in your car accident case.

Remember, when hiring an attorney, you need to hire a local attorney who knows that laws for that state. For example if you are in an accident in Oakland, California, you need to hire reputable injury lawyers in Oakland to handle your case.