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What to do when you are in a car accident

Car accidents are a fact of life. No one likes to think about them, but they happen. If you drive enough, it is very likely that you will wind up in at least one at some point during your driving career. The key to handling the situation well and getting back on your feet again is knowing what to do when disaster strikes. That way, you have a plan from the moment of impact, and you also know how to access legal help and other resources to help you recover costs related to the crash.

What to do immediately after the crash

The moments after an accident can be confusing because everyone involved has just been through a traumatic event. The first thing you need to do before you try to move is to check yourself for injuries.

If you are injured, it is best to stay in place and handle as much as you can from your seat until a medical professional has cleared you to move.

Here is what you need to do, but remember, safety first. Only do each step if you are able to do it without risk:

  • Check other people in your vehicle to see if they are hurt, and contact 911 for medical help to deal with any emergencies.
  • If medical help is not necessary, contact local law enforcement to get an officer to the scene so you can make a statement.
  • If it is possible to exit the vehicle and check it for damage, do so. Otherwise, consider whether or not it would be safe to move the vehicle off the road, to a location where you can do that.
  • Give the officer a statement that describes your narrative of events while it is still fresh.
  • Do not admit fault for the accident to the police officer, other driver, or witnesses.
  • Exchange insurance contact information with the other driver.

After leaving the scene

If you have suffered injuries, make sure to obtain medical care. Keep in mind the fact that the effects of some injuries may not fully reveal themselves until after the accident. And make sure you follow the instructions of your doctor. If you stop medical care before your doctor says it's OK, the insurance company could use this to minimize your compensation.

Once you have attended to your medical situation, you need to contact an attorney to review the situation. Experienced attorneys will be able to tell you whether or not you have a claim for damages based on the facts of the case and the costs of getting on your feet again.

If you are wondering whether or not you have a claim for compensation that will help you to deal with the costs of a car accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Contact one as soon as possible.

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