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What should you do immediately after a car accident?

Just like any other day, you drive down the freeway as you head home from a long day at work. But on this day, luck simply isn't on your side. Another vehicle collides with yours, and the resulting accident causes a vast amount of damage to both cars. You and the other driver suffer minor injuries. In the wake of the wreck, you're a little disoriented and you're not exactly sure what you're supposed to do. You've never been in a wreck before.

So what do you do? What should someone do in the immediate aftermath of a car accident?

First and foremost, remain at the accident scene. This serves two purposes: it will prevent you from becoming a hit-and-run driver, and it will also ensure that you get the help you need to record the events of the wreck with the authorities. Take pictures of the accident scene and talk to anyone who stayed after witnessing the crash.

Then you'll want to talk with the other drivers involved in the wreck. Do your best to be as calm and understanding as possible. If you get angry, it could spark other issues. Make sure the other people are okay, and then exchange information with them so that you guys can work things out with your insurer. Also, accept the medical care that is offered to you so that you have a record of your injuries.

Speaking of your insurer, you'll need to inform them about the wreck. Provide as many details and supporting documentation (medical reports, police reports, eyewitness accounts) that you can.

Source: FindLaw, "After a Car Accident: First Steps," Accessed Dec. 8, 2014

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