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Take appropriate action after a car wreck

When you are involved in a car crash, you have to make sure that you are doing things that protect your interests. If you are going to seek compensation, you don't need anything that is going to unfavorably impact your chances.

There are several things that you should think about when you are in this situation. Your duties start as soon as the accident happens.

At the scene of the accident

Your first priority when the accident occurs is determining if there are any injuries. If there are, contact emergency services to get medics to the scene. You also need the police department. Make sure you get medical care for any injuries due to the accident -- even if you don't think you have any. Many can manifest in time, due to delayed onset.

During the investigation, you will have to answer questions about what happened. You must be truthful, but don't ever say anything that indicates your fault for the wreck. Apologizing, even if you are saying you are sorry about the effects of the crash, can be misconstrued as an admission of fault. You should also remember when speaking to anyone about the incident, after the fact.

Try to get pictures of the scene. Don't focus only on the vehicles. Get pictures of the scene around the crash. You can use these to show what happened. If you suffered obvious injuries, such as bruises or something similar, get pictures.

Get the contact information for anyone involved in the crash, as well as any witnesses that saw what happened. At a minimum, you need a name, phone number and address. You should also get the driver's license, vehicle plate and insurance information of the other driver.

Once you get home

As soon as possible, you need to alert the insurance company. Make factual statements but never admit fault. Remember, the insurance company's duty is to protect its own interests, which might not be what's best for you. It might be best for you to have your legal representative handle the contact with other parties about the accident. This can ensure that you aren't saying or doing anything that can be used against you.

If you decide to seek compensation for your damages, your case will likely either go through the settlement process or through a civil trial. You should be prepared for either option.

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