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Important steps to take in the aftermath of an auto accident.

You run down your lengthy to-do list in your mind as you make your way to town, ready to tackle the day. But then, all of a sudden, you find yourself staring at a quickly approaching car for what seems like an eternity. And then you hear the sound of metal crunching, you feel pain and you can't help but to think that getting into an accident was certainly not part of your to-do list.

A motor vehicle accident resulting in serious injuries can unfortunately force you to put your life on hold due to a longer-than-ideal recovery period. In some cases, these type of car accidents are the result of another driver's carelessness. In this situation, taking a few steps at the accident scene may help you to protect your best interests going forward.

What should you do at the accident scene?

Staying at the crash scene is critical, as you may end up facing severe criminal penalties if you leave. In the eyes of the law, you would have committed a hit-and-run offense. While at the scene, checking on the other driver and any passengers is also important to make sure that anyone who requires medical attention receives it as soon as possible.

Next, contacting the police is essential, as the police can file a report on the accident for you. Exchanging information with the other driver is also an important step. This information includes the following:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • License plate number
  • Car insurance basic information
  • Driver's license number

Obtaining the names, addresses and phone numbers of any passengers at the scene may also be helpful. Although being cooperative and cordial with the other parties is expedient, not saying sorry for anything that happened involving the accident could potentially protect you from being held liable. For instance, apologizing for not seeing a stop sign means you might be admitting financial responsibility for what took place.

How about after the accident?

Tracking all of the medical treatments you have to undergo due to your car crash injuries may be helpful for demonstrating the financial costs of the accident from a medical standpoint. You may even want to document how your injuries have disrupted your quality of life, including such things as preventing you from being able to earn an income along with any disruptions to your everyday family life.

What are your rights following the accident?

If you were the victim of another party's negligence or reckless actions, you have the right to seek monetary damages that can help you to cover your medical bills and other losses stemming from the unfortunate incident. Compensation may also be awarded to help with addressing any emotional distress and pain and suffering resulting from the accident.

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