No matter the severity, being involved in a car accident can be a scary experience. Even a slight fender-bender can leave you shaken in the aftermath. Unfortunately, the days and moments after a car accident are the most important times to keep a clear head and make decisions. In fact, one of the best things you can do to prepare in case you are ever in a car accident in New Jersey is to keep a post-accident checklist in your phone or a hard copy in your glove compartment.

What happens after a car accident can have a major impact on how an insurance company processes your claim. Certain actions will make the process easier while others could seriously inhibit your ability to successfully win the compensation you deserve. While you probably already know the basics, such as not leaving the scene and exchanging contact information with the other driver, there might be a few that you haven’t put on your checklist yet. Here are a few less obvious things you should do after a car wreck that is not your fault.

File a report with the local police

In some cases, all an insurance company needs to process a claim is a police report that makes it clear which driver is at fault. No matter what else happens, be sure to always file a police report. Even if the collision is with your best friend, call the police and get official paperwork about the circumstances of the wreck.

Talk to your insurer and check your policy

Unfortunately, your car insurance premiums might go up after a wreck even if it was not your fault. Check with your insurance company and find out if this is a possibility. In addition, read the fine print of your policy. Before you are ever in a wreck, you should know exactly what to expect from your insurer and what you are entitled to as part of your policy.

Do some research on replacement parts

After a wreck, most insurers want to pay as little as possible when it comes time to compensating the accident victim. While the insurer might offer a sweet deal that includes a lifetime warranty on replacement parts if you take your car to their preferred dealer, these parts may not be entirely desirable replacements. To keep the value of your car as intact as possible, you may want to opt for new original equipment manufacturer parts.

If you have been in a car accident, keep in mind that you have rights and options. You might be able to file a claim for the accident and receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other damages.