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Your first steps after a motor vehicle accident

Even though you do whatever you can to avoid a motor vehicle accident, you could find yourself in this unenviable position at any time.

As scary as it can be to be part of a motor vehicle accident, taking the right steps at the right time will put your mind at ease and allow you to feel better about what's to come.

Here are some of the most important things to do if you find yourself in this situation:

  • Move your vehicle to safety: Generally speaking, the best thing you can do is navigate your vehicle to the shoulder of the road. Before you get out, however, make sure the scene is 100 percent safe. For example, stepping out of your vehicle on the interstate is never a good idea.
  • Check yourself for injuries: Before you attempt to do anything else, check your body for injuries, both minor and severe. If you realize something is wrong, stay where you are until help arrives.
  • Call 911: This is a good idea for two reasons. First off, the dispatcher can send an ambulance to the scene of the accident, thus ensuring that you receive immediate medical attention. They can also notify police, who will arrive and take control of the scene.
  • Gather all the necessary information: If you are able to do so, exchange information with the other driver. Also, take photos of the accident scene and obtain contact details from any witnesses.
  • Call your insurance company: You do not want to over explain the accident details. Whatever you say the insurance company may attempt to use against you. Instead, let your agent know that you were in an accident and then wait for instructions on what to do next.

These are the five basic steps you should take if you are part of a motor vehicle accident.

If you suffered any type of injury in the accident, you will want to work with a medical team to improve your long-term prognosis and talk to legal counsel. As you learn more about your legal rights, you may find that there is more than one way to seek compensation.

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