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5 things you should do after your first car accident

Getting in a car accident is scary and stressful for anyone, but particularly if it is your first one. You might wonder if you should call the police or when you should file a claim. The following guidelines can help you process the situation and make important decisions if you have been in a car accident.

1. Seek medical attention

You should check yourself for obvious injuries and call emergency personnel or ask a bystander to do so. Even if you do not have any obvious injuries, it is smart to get evaluated by a medical professional. Getting immediate medical attention is the best thing to do for your health as well as your potential personal injury claim. If you can move without any pain, you can check on the well-being of any passengers you have.

2. Document the accident

Write down detailed notes of the accident. Draw a diagram that shows how the crash occurred and what direction each vehicle was going. Take pictures of all vehicle damage. Try to take a picture of the other driver's license or write down the license number. If the driver refuses, take a picture of him or her while taking pictures of vehicle damage.

3. File a police report

Make sure to file an official report of the accident. Collect the names and badge numbers of any officers who responded to the scene. Filing a report is a great way to ensure the accident is properly recorded, and it makes the claim process easier.

4. Exchange information

Exchanging information with any other driver involved in the accident is important. Swap the following details:

  • Full name
  • Contact information­-phone number, email address and mailing address
  • License plate number
  • Make, model and color of vehicle
  • Location of the incident

While interacting with the other driver, be sure to not admit wrongdoing even if you feel bad for the accident. Doing so could prevent you from having a successful claim.

5. Consider filing a personal injury claim

If the accident was not your fault, the insurance of the other driver should compensate for damages. Even if your car insurance company includes medical coverage, you still can sue if you have serious personal injuries. Oftentimes, insurance companies offer inadequate compensation. Filing a claim can provide what you need to recover from the accident.

If you have been in a car accident, keep the above tips in mind to ensure you take the appropriate actions. Consult a personal injury attorney to learn more about your options with a claim.

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