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3 things to do after a car accident

Car accidents are loud, scary and often violent. They can lead to costly injuries and lengthy recoveries.

While there is no way to prepare for an accident you do not see coming, there are a few things you can do after a collision that will help in your physical and financial recovery.

1. Check for injuries

Immediately after any collision, check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If you are able to, check on the occupants of the other vehicle as well. Call an ambulance for any injuries and try not to move any injured person unless instructed to do so when you call 9-1-1. Stay calm and wait for help to arrive. If you do not seem injured at first but experience headache or pain in the hours after the accident, seek medical attention.

2. Report the accident

If you call 9-1-1, the police will likely arrive in addition to the ambulance. If there are no injuries, but your vehicle sustained damage, call to report the accident to the police. The police will fill out an official report including details about the location and manner of the accident, witness statements and photos. Everything included in the police report will be invaluable for any insurance claim or lawsuit regarding the collision.

3. Take photos

Even though the police will take photos for their report, you should take photos of the accident scene, the damage to your vehicle and even your injuries if you are able to do so. Photos help show insurance companies the complete picture of the damage you suffered.

Be courteous when exchanging insurance information with the other driver. Do not admit fault and do not make accusations. Keep your conversation brief and polite, and wait for the police to arrive first if you feel unsafe.