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5 important steps to take after a car accident

Between driving the kids to after school activities, getting groceries and stopping for gas, another driver could easily hit you. Usually you don't see the crash coming. One moment you are driving and the next you have been hit. Getting into a car accident is jarring, especially if you have children in the car. You might be in a state of shock or confusion, but you will need to make sure that you take the right steps after an accident.

1. Call 911 and check for injuries

It is recommended that you call 911 after a car accident no matter what. If anyone is injured then make it a priority to call for help. If you have family in the vehicle then check them over carefully for injuries. If they appear injured then try not to move them unless it is necessary. Even if no one is injured, still call the police. An officer can come to the scene and write a neutral police report which could be used to support your claim against the driver that hit you.

2. Get out of traffic

If you have been involved in a fender bender then you should move your vehicle out of the line of traffic. This will make the roadway safer for everyone and you can examine your vehicle out of harm's way. If you have been involved in a more serious accident then do not try to start your vehicle. It could be dangerous. If this is the case then get out of the road and stand a safe distance away from moving traffic.

3. Talk to witnesses and take pictures

If someone witnessed the accident it can be helpful to have them back up your story. Chat with them to see if you can get their contact information. The insurance company might want to speak with them or they could be testimony to your personal injury claim. Photos are great evidence as well. Take pictures of the damage on both cars. You will never be angry that you took too many pictures.

4. Exchange information with the other driver

Do not leave the scene until you gather information from the other driver such as their name, phone number address, license number, type of car and license plate number. You might also want to speak with any passengers in their vehicle and get their name and number. While you are talking with the other driver just make sure never to take blame for the accident. If you apologize for the accident, even as a courteous gesture, the statement could be used against you to lower your claim.

5. Visit a medical professional

If you are sore or injured after the accident then see a physician right away. Once your adrenaline slows from the shock of the accident you might start feeling aches and pains. Spinal cord injuries can take time to develop. Get any passengers, especially children, checked with a doctor as well. Keep a detailed record of the physician, treatments, bills and medication that you receive following the accident. If you find out that you are injured then these costs could be covered in a personal injury claim.

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident then stay calm and follow these steps. If you are injured then you could seek compensation for the emotional trauma and medical cost of your injuries. Speak with an attorney to learn more about filing a personal injury claim.

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