If you've been in a car accident, the steps you take following the incident will play a big role in the processing of your claim. Car accidents can leave you with significant personal injuries and property damage. You want to make sure that you receive the compensation that you're entitled to. To help you avoid costly mistakes, here are four things that you shouldn't do after a car accident.

Don't Wait to File a Report

If you've been involved in a car accident, don't wait to file a report – with the police department or the insurance company. You need to file both reports in a timely manner, especially if police weren't called to the scene of the accident. Failing to file a report in a timely manner gives the other driver the opportunity to put their own spin on the events. Unfortunately, if they were responsible for the accident, they may try to provide statements that place the blame on you. The best thing you can do is report the incident immediately.

Don't Postpone Medical Care

If you've been injured in a car accident, don't postpone your medical care. Waiting too long to see a doctor can cause a couple of problems. First, waiting can allow injuries to become worse. Second, waiting gives the insurance company the opportunity to claim that your injuries were sustained elsewhere. The best course of action is to visit the emergency room immediately following a car accident. Once you've been assessed by an emergency physician, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Be sure to follow through with any treatment plans that your physician orders.

Don't Fail to Document the Damage

If your car has sustained damaged as the result of an accident, don't fail to document the damage. It's natural to want to have the damage repaired as soon as possible. However, repairing the damage before it's been properly documented, could cause you problems down the road. To avoid that, take pictures of your car before you have the damages repaired. Also, it's a good idea to have your insurance company send an adjuster out to provide additional documentation of the damage. That way, all documentation can be provided to your attorney, and to the responsible parties insurance company.

Don't Limit the Information You Receive

If you've been in a car accident, don't limit the information you receive to what's listed on insurance cards and drivers licenses. If that information is no longer accurate, you may have a difficult time locating the responsible party once they've left the scene of the accident. Instead, ask for additional contact information, including current addresses and cell phone numbers. If possible, call the cell phone number while you're at the accident scene. That way, you can tell if the information is correct.

Contact a personal injury law firm for more assistance.