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What should I do if I am in a car accident?

Stay at the Scene of the Accident:

If you are involved in a car accident that has caused substantial property damage to your vehicle or to the vehicle of another party or has caused injury to another person, the law requires you to stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive. If you're not sure how substantial the damage you caused was, stay at the scene of the accident. The law requires you to do so, and failure to comply can lead to sanctions and possibly even criminal charges. If you are on a roadway, turn on your hazard lights, use flares, or any other safe means at your disposal to warn approaching traffic.

If someone is injured:

Do not try to move someone who is injured. Immediately call the police, or have someone near you call them, and notify them that someone has been injured. Attempt to provide some information on how many people were injured and the nature of the injuries so that an appropriate number of emergency response workers can come to the scene.

Obtain Information:

Exchange information with the other drivers. Make sure to get their name, address, phone number, driver's license number, insurance information and license plate numbers. If the other driver is in a company truck or vehicle, make sure to obtain the company information.

If there are any witnesses to the accident obtain their contact information.

If a police officer is at the scene, ask him for his business card and the incident number; this will help you obtain the police report later on.

Do Not Admit Fault:

Even if at the time of the accident you believe that the accident is your fault, do not admit your liability. You are not yet aware of everything that has happened or of all the causes of the accident. The other driver may have also contributed to the cause of the accident. Any statements you make may be used against you. When you speak to the police tell them only the facts and allow them to draw their own conclusions about fault.

Seek Medical Care Immediately:

After you are in a car accident you will most likely experience an adrenaline rush, which may mask symptoms of injury, even symptoms of serious injury. Additionally, if you wait to obtain medical treatment the other side may argue that your injuries were caused by something other than the car accident.

Often times, injuries as serious as brain injuries may not be felt immediately, or the person injured may not be aware of them. If you in any way struck your head during impact, are experiencing dizziness, ringing in your ears, loss of memory, blood or fluid in your ear, confusion or any other unusual feelings or symptoms please seek medical care immediately.

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