A car accident can happen in an instant and fender-benders happen every day across the country. Would you know what to do after a crash?

Be prepared to take these five steps if you should ever become an accident victim.

1. Check for injuries

You will obviously check yourself for injuries after a car crash occurs, but you should also find out how others fared. If anyone suffered an injury or feels dizzy or disoriented, call 911. Those who appear to have more serious injuries should receive immediate attention when emergency medical personnel arrive.

2. Call the police

Even if the car crash was a minor one, call the police. The officer who arrives at the scene will write a report of the incident. Request a copy that you can provide to your attorney. Make a note of the officer’s name and badge number.

3. Collect information

Your nerves may feel frayed, but try to gather as much information about the accident as you can. Exchange insurance information with the other driver. Write down contact information for the driver as well as any passengers or witnesses. Note the location of the accident, the weather conditions and which direction the cars involved were traveling.

The camera feature of your cellphone will come in handy after a car accident. Take photos of license plate numbers, the damage to your vehicle and the accident site. If you have a visible injury, ask someone to take a picture of it with your camera.

4. Seek medical care for yourself

If you have a serious injury, go to a hospital emergency room. Otherwise, see your doctor as soon as possible; there could be an underlying injury, such as a concussion. Also, the doctor will prepare a medical report that will link any injuries you might have to the accident.

5. Consult an attorney

Seek legal guidance before you contact an insurance company; you must be careful about what you say to an insurance representative. Along with the information and photos you gathered, both the police report and medical report will be very important when the time comes for you to file a claim for compensation.