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What should you do immediately following an accident?

As we all know, accidents can happen to any person at any time, anywhere. So what are the things to do immediately following an accident? First and foremost is the safety and well-being of everyone involved in the accident. Make certain everyone in your party is accounted for and safe, and check on others involved in the accident. If you believe a spine or neck injury may have occurred to one of the victims, do not move them unless they are in immediate peril.

You should also collect information from everyone involved in the accident, including all drivers, passengers and pedestrians if applicable. Next, you should call the police. Failing to do so means you are leaving the scene of an accident, and could lead to further problems down the road.

You should have their names, contact addresses and telephone numbers, as well as drivers' license numbers, make and models of the cars and license plate numbers. If you notice of anyone nearby who may have been a witness, feel free to reach out to them for contact information as well. If possible, take pictures of the damage and even the surrounding area, but make certain to not jeopardize your safety in the process. Gathering as much information as possible may not be necessary, but it cannot hurt to have more information than what you will need.

It is important that you not admit fault, or even apologize to anyone. Doing so may be considered admitting to legal liability, which may affect also things down the road. Contact your insurance company and let them know of the accident and all specific details. It is also important to keep documentation about all your medical treatments. If it is found that someone else was at fault in the motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation, including medical expenses.

Source: findlaw.com, "After a Car Accident: First Steps," Accessed Mar. 14, 2017

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