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What do I do at the accident scene?

When you are involved in an accident, you may be in shock and feeling disoriented.  Knowing what to do at the accident scene can not only potentially save a life, but can help you at a later point. 

If you have been in an accident, the first thing you should do is to ensure everyone involved is safe.  This means that you should take steps to secure the scene and protect your passengers and the passengers of the other vehicle from further danger. 

You should next call 911 and calmly relay the location of the accident as specifically as you can to avoid any delay.  While waiting for help, you should obtain the other driver’s information.  This includes, getting the driver’s name, driver’s license information, license plate number, insurance information, the owner of the vehicle’s information such as addresses, phone numbers, and work information.  Also remember to record the make and model of all involved vehicles.   Take pictures of the scene and of the property damage to all vehicles involved.

If there are any witnesses to the car accident, get their information, too.  Try to get a statement from witnesses who can’t stay at the scene and make sure you give their information to the investigating officer so that they may be interviewed at a later date.

Try to avoid discussing the details of the accident with the other driver.  You do not want anything you say to be misconstrued or taken out of context.  Try to stay calm and polite even if the other driver becomes angry. 

Lastly, because injuries are not always immediately apparent, get checked out by an EMT or a physician.  Sometimes you may not feel any pain or discomfort from whiplash injuries until hours or days later.


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