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You just got into a car accident: what do you do?

A car accident is a chaotic, tumultuous time where all of the people involved are shaken up, injured, or otherwise jarred. They may not be thinking clearly, and even if they are, they probably aren't necessarily thinking about the immediate steps they should be taking to preserve evidence of the accident scene and to ensure that they are properly handling themselves in the wake of a wreck.

With that in mind, let's talk about some of the things that drivers can do to protect themselves after an accident, and what you should do to increase your chances of successfully completing a personal injury lawsuit against any drivers that may have been negligent in your specific wreck.

  • Maybe the most important step is not leaving the scene of the accident. Fleeing the scene makes you a hit-and-run driver and, thus, a criminal. Stay at the scene, check on the other drivers and call the police.
  • If medical responders arrive, you should accept the care that they offer. You'll feel better and get on the road to recovery -- while also creating an important record of the injuries you suffered, which can be referenced later in any lawsuit you may file.
  • If anyone witnessed the wreck, you should talk with them and get any relevant information. Also, you will obviously need to talk with the other people involved in your wreck and obtain their information. Finally, take pictures of the accident scene to preserve some evidence.
  • Last but not least, you'll have to inform your insurance provider. And if you are considering legal action, consult with a personal injury attorney as well.

Source: FindLaw, "After a Car Accident: First Steps," Accessed Dec. 10, 2014

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