Car accidents are stressful, scary events in the lives of millions of people across the country each year. No matter the severity; car accidents can cause a lot of pain, suffering, loss of income and more. There are six important steps you must take following a car accident in order to prevent further injuries, accelerate the repair process and keep repair costs at a minimum.

All vehicle owners should put an emergency kit in the glove compartment of the car. The kit should include pen, paper, insurance card, medical allergy card, contact information card, flashlight and possibly a reusable camera. Your vehicle should also have flares in the trunk.

All vehicles involved in an accident should move off the road, if there is no major damage and no major injuries. This will prevent more accidents and a potentially fatal situation. If the vehicle cannot be moved, all occupants should remain inside the car with their seat belts fastened to avoid an injury.

Once the vehicles are moved from the roadway, the drivers must exchange information. This includes names, insurance information, address and phone number. A written description of each vehicle should also be taken following the accident. This description should also include where the accident took place and what damage has been done.

Photographs should be taken of all vehicles involved as well as any items from the cars strewn about the road. Talk to any passersby who stopped to help. Find out if they actually witnessed the accident. If they did, get them to provide a statement to responding police officers.

An accident report should be filed even if the police do not respond to the accident. Most claims processes can be sped up with the inclusion of a police report.

Check with your insurance company as to what is covered by your plan prior to an accident. This will help with towing costs and rental cars.

After you have received medical care and are considering seeking compensation from the at-fault driver, you may find the help of an attorney beneficial.

Source: Edmunds.com, “What to Do After a Car Accident,” Philip Reed, accessed Dec. 30, 2016