A car accident can happen quickly, even to careful drivers. After the car accident, you will feel scared, disoriented and unsure of what to do.

Dealing with an auto accident can be very stressful, it can ruin your entire day. In addition to the inconvenience of missing a critical appointment or even missing work, you also have to deal with the damage to your car, liability issues, and possible traffic violations and even severe injuries in some unfortunate cases.

If you are involved in a car accident, the following is a list of the things you should do:

1. Stay calm and focused. Take a deep breath as you survey the damage around you. Make sure you’re okay and check on the well-being of your passengers.

2. Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even if its minor collision.

3. Protect the scene and prevent further crashes by using your hazard lights to alert other drivers.

4. Call the police and wait for an officer to respond to the accident. If there are injuries, call 911 or an ambulance. The responding officers will fill out an accident report and document the scene; this can be useful evidence to file a claim with your insurance company.

5. Gather information from everyone, including witnesses. Also, gather evidence by taking pictures of the vehicle and injuries.

6. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Get their full name and contact information, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license number, and license plate number. Take note of the type, color, and model of their vehicle.

7. Seek medical attention at your local emergency room or by seeing your family physician. Some symptoms could appear much later, therefore receiving immediate medical care is crucial to avoid a dispute with the insurance company, saying that that accident didn’t injure you.

8. Notify your insurance provider as soon as possible.

9. Seek legal counsel, since the insurance company will do everything to avoid paying, this means they may dispute your claim or deny it, and they may try to use your statements against you. Your attorney can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed.

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