Car accidents can happen to anyone. Minnesota Timberwolves player Karl-Anthony Towns said he felt lucky to be alive after he was in a motor vehicle accident that forced him to sit out two games.

No matter who you are, everyone needs to follow the same basic steps after getting in a car accident. There are also certain actions you need to avoid. The wrong step, even if it was an honest mistake, could drastically impact your claim.

Not calling 911

No matter how severe or minor the crash seems, you should always get the police to come out to create a report. Law enforcement can also gather valuable evidence at the scene that can work in your favor. The officers can take photographs and interview witnesses. Additionally, when you contact your auto insurance agency, a representative will likely ask for a police report.

Skipping a doctor’s visit

Once the officers have gathered all they need to at the scene, you should head over to a doctor’s office. You want to get yourself checked out because you may have sustained injuries. Many people do not realize they have whiplash until the next day or two. The sooner you can get a doctor’s diagnosis, the better off you will be. You want to present your insurance company with all the expenses you will have in the immediate future, and that includes any medical bills.

Following your insurance agency’s word

Insurance companies have incentives to keep payouts as low as possible. Therefore, they may try to deny you as much money as they can get away with. That is why you need to be skeptical of the first offer your insurance company gives. It may seem like a good amount of money at first, but you could have expenses related to the collision for years to come. Your lawyer needs to speak with your insurance provider to make sure you get as much money as you can.