There are some 10 million car accidents annually in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and that includes minor incidents like rear-end collisions.

If you should be the victim of even a minor car crash, among your primary responsibilities is to seek medical assistance, even if you feel fine. This is important for more reasons than one.

First steps

A vehicle accident can happen in seconds. You may be stopped at a light when someone crashes into the back of your car. You feel a jolt but determine you have not been injured. You get out of your car to assess the damage and exchange insurance information with the other driver, who also seems to be uninjured. Next, you call the police, and when an officer arrives to look over the situation and make a report, you request a copy, which you will give to your attorney.

Off to the doctor

Your nerves are probably somewhat jangled, and it may be tempting to just head home and relax. Instead, schedule a medical evaluation. Let a doctor check you out because some injuries do not show up at the time of a car accident. Symptoms could be delayed, but a hidden problem can be diagnosed through prompt medical attention. A timely medical report will also confirm that any injuries you sustain are a direct result of the car crash, which will be important information when it is time to file a claim with an insurance company.

Be careful with information

A personal injury attorney will tell you that while you need to report the rear-end collision to your own insurance company, you should only relate the basic facts and stay away from providing any details. Your attorney will handle those on your behalf when seeking financial compensation to cover costs such as your medical bills. You should only be concerned with your recovery and with following doctor’s orders.