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6 steps to take following a car accident

The immediate aftermath of a car accident is not a time to look online for advice about what you should do. That's why we're providing an easy six-step list as a reminder of what you might want to do if you are ever in a car accident.

Note that the items on this list presuppose that you are able to get safely out of your vehicle and that you are not injured in a way that prevents you from communicating or moving around the scene. Obviously, if that is not the case, the first thing you should do is seek or wait for medical assistance.

First, stay on the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident before authorities arrive can actually result in criminal charges and can weaken any case you might have for a claim if someone else is liable in the accident.

Second, check on and help anyone else involved as you are able. No matter who caused the accident, human lives might be at stake if no one takes action to help.

Third, report the accident to the police and ensure you provide your statement if appropriate. Get contact information for the officer and find out how to get a copy of the police report once it's filed.

Fourth, exchange information with other drivers. Make sure you get their insurance information and contact information.

Fifth, gather information about the accident if possible. That might include talking to witnesses or snapping cell phone pictures.

Finally, contact your own insurance company to let them know about the accident. You might also consider contacting a personal injury lawyer if you believe your injuries or damages were caused by another person in the accident.

Source: FindLaw, "After a Car Accident: First Steps," accessed Aug. 05, 2016

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