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Be prepared for what comes after a car accident

Car accidents are very common, so common that you can fall into the trap of thinking that every single person on the face of the Earth has been in one. But to the contrary, that isn't true -- and for the people who have been in an accident, getting into another one can be just as shocking and disorienting as the first one.

We say all of this as a prompt for car accident preparedness. When you get into a car accident, there will be a period of time after the wreck where you need to deal with the collision that just happened. So what should you do during this critical period?

To begin, let's state the obvious: you should not leave the scene of the accident. Doing so makes your accident a hit and run accident, and you will be subject to criminal charges. Remain at the scene of the accident.

Once you have done so, worry about yourself for the moment. Check to make sure you don't have any severe cuts. If you are okay, take a deep breath and prepare yourself to deal with the other people involved in the crash. When you check on them, if they are in need of medical assistance, call 911 and follow the directions of the responder.

If that isn't necessary, or if emergency responders are helping other victims, you should get photos of the accident and scene and talk to any witnesses who saw the wreck. There is valuable information and evidence there that could help you deal with your insurance provider or prove any claims you may make in a personal injury lawsuit.

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