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Know what to do after you are involved in a motor vehicle crash

You might feel shaken and unsure after a car crash. If you suffered from an injury in the crash, your focus is likely going to be on getting the medical care you need. These are understandable, but it is imperative that you take the time to evaluate the situation and come up with a plan for what you are going to do. Here are some of the points that you need to consider.

First, make sure that you don't leave the scene. Contact the police department and have an officer come out to make a report. If you or anyone else is injured, have the dispatcher send out the paramedics so that they can evaluate people and get those who need medical care to the hospital.

Second, pay close attention to what you say after an accident. Never say anything that anyone might think means that you are blaming yourself for the accident. A determination about fault will be made for insurance purposes, and you don't want to sway that toward you being named as the at-fault party.

Third, gather the pertinent information. You should exchange information, including license numbers and insurance information, with the other driver, but don't stop there. You also need to find out if there are any impartial witnesses who saw the accident. Try to get their information if they are willing to provide it.

Fourth, try to take pictures. Most cellphones these days have a camera. Shoot a few still shots of the vehicles, the scene of the accident and your injuries. You might also want to take a video to show the area around the scene, especially any areas that played a part in the accident.

Fifth, consider your options for seeking compensation. Minor accidents might have sufficient coverage from insurance. More serious accidents might lead to a claim for compensation through a civil lawsuit.

Source: FindLaw, "After a Car Accident: First Steps," accessed Nov. 03, 2017

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