While making a claim to your insurance company is relatively straightforward, the steps you take after an accident are critical. Your actions will dictate whether your claim is approved or denied, and a denied claim may result in you paying for the accident out of pocket. The Balance offers the following advice on what to do when involved in a car accident.

Call for help

Even if you’re not hurt, contacting the police is recommended after an accident. The police officer reporting to the scene will take down what happened to create a report, which can be useful to your insurance company. The police will also be able to coordinate emergency services when necessary to prevent you and others at the scene from sustaining further damage.

Collect information

While the police report is helpful for your claim, there are other pieces of information you’ll need when reporting your accident. This includes the name and contact information of any other drivers, information on vehicles involved, when and where the accident occurred, as well as any other pertinent information. You can even take pictures of the damage sustained by your vehicle, which can sometimes be an indication of who was at fault.

Contact your insurance company

The sooner you file a claim the better. From there an adjuster will assume responsibility for speaking with other drivers and their insurance companies, as well as providing information on where you can have your vehicle repaired in the meantime. If you have issues when filing a claim, be sure to speak with your insurance agent, who may be able to share some insight. It also helps if you know your policy details, which are crucial in determining whether a claim is valid or not.