No one expects that they’re going to get into their vehicles to go to work or school and end up in a serious collision. Most people believe that they’ll head out for the day and get to where they’re going, moving on with their lives.

The sad reality is that motor vehicle accidents can involve anyone at any time. Whether you’re on a rural road or a busy interstate, there is always a chance of getting into a crash. If you do end up in a crash, you’ll want to know what you can do to help yourself.

1. Call 911

The first step is always to call 911 for emergency help. Even if you’re not injured, it’s wise to call for help and then to check on your passengers and the people in the other vehicle or vehicles involved. Early notification of a crash gets emergency care there faster, which could be the difference between life and death for some victims.

2. Move to safety

The next step is to move to somewhere safe. You should always stay inside your vehicle if it’s the safest place or if you’re injured. However, if your vehicle can be moved to the side of the road or you’re able to move to a safer place while waiting for the police and ambulance to arrive, you may do so. The last thing anyone wants is to see another accident caused by drivers who aren’t paying attention and then collide with your vehicle.

3. Wait for help

While waiting for help, you can attempt to exchange insurance information with the other driver if they’re in the position to do so. If anyone is injured, you should provide aid if and when possible until emergency help arrives.

4. Get into contact with your attorney with documentation of the crash

Finally, keep all the documentation from the accident including your medical documents, photos from the scene, the other party’s insurance information, police reports and anything else describing the accident. You should make copies of these documents to give to your attorney. Your attorney will then use them to help you negotiate for a fair payout from the other party’s insurance.

Remember, the most important thing in any crash is that those who are hurt get the help they need. Everything else is secondary, but good recordkeeping will help you make a solid claim for compensation.