Car accidents – no matter how severe – can be scary, stressful and time consuming. Even seemingly minor car crashes can result in injuries and expensive damage to your car.

A fender bender is one common type of minor accident. Millions of Americans are involved in fender benders each year. These car accidents can take place anywhere – parking garages, highways or even driveways.

Here are some helpful steps to follow if you are involved in a fender bender:

  1. Check for injuries. First and foremost, you should check to see if you or anyone else was hurt. If anyone sustained injuries, call 911. If not, you should move safely to the side of the road before taking the next step.
  2. Call the police. It can be tempting to skip this step when your accident is minor. But it’s critical to file a legal accident report after any car crash. Your insurance company may also require a police report.
  3. Take pictures. You should use your phone to take many photos from several different angles. Take pictures of your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle and the surrounding area. These photos can provide useful information about how the crash happened.
  4. Gather information. You should exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver – but limit your conversation aside from this. You should also get the contact information of any witnesses. You may also write down your own account of how the crash happened while it’s still fresh in your mind.
  5. Contact your insurance company. As soon as you’ve composed yourself, you should call your insurance company’s emergency claims number. Your insurance company can assist you with next steps.

In the days and weeks following your accident, you should look out for any unusual pain. Delayed symptoms from injuries sustained during crashes are common. In fender benders, this may include back or neck pain.

You may also consider contacting an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help protect your rights and answer any pressing questions you may have about taking legal action.