There were a little over 5.2 million car accidents in the US in 2020 alone. The good news is that the number of fatal crashes remains comparatively low relative to the total number of car accidents each year.

The total number of fatal crashes for the same year was a little under 36,000. While that's still terribly high, it also means that people walk away from millions of car accidents relatively unscathed.

If you're one of those people who walks away, though, do you know what to do after a car accident? If not, keep reading for a step-by-step guide to what to do after a car crash.

Check For Injuries

As far as you can do so safely, check yourself and any passengers for injuries. Keep an eye out for cuts and any signs of pain in people's joints, necks, or backs.

Move to Safety

After checking for injuries, move to safety. If possible, drive your car off to the side road. If not possible, take yourself and any passengers to the side of the road. This is just in case another driver isn't paying attention and crashes into the accident.

Contact the Authorities

If you see or suspect any injuries, contact emergency medical services. You should contact the police, regardless of how minor the accident is, so there is a report on file.

Contact Your Insurance Company

You should contact your insurance company from the scene of the accident. Again, this creates a record of the incident, even if you don't plan on filing a car insurance claim. It can protect you later if the other person staged the accident for cash.

Document the Scene

As much as you can safely do so, document the scene. Photograph any damage you can see on either of the vehicles. Grab a picture of their license plate just in case you need it later.

Call for a Tow

What if you can't drive the vehicle home from the scene? In cases like that, you'll need a vehicle recovery service to get the car to your home or an auto service shop.

Call a Lawyer

Depending on the severity of the accident and how fair the insurance companies play, you may want a lawyer's services. This is particularly true if you suffered permanent physical injuries or face a problem like a car crash or PTSD.

You can refer for more tips on picking a lawyer here.

Managing Right After a Car Accident

What you do right after a car accident can make your life easier or harder in the short and long run. As much as possible, stay calm and stay on task.

Your first priority is everyone's physical health and safety. After that, you want the authorities on the scene for either medical support or to get a police report on file.

Talk to your insurance company and make sure you document the scene. If things go especially bad, start looking for a lawyer.

Looking for more tips on managing emergencies? Head over to our Lifestyle section for more posts.