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What should I do if I am involved in a car accident?

When a driver utilizes public roads and highways to get from point A to point B, there is always a chance that a car accident can occur. A wreck can happen to anyone at anytime, anywhere and without warning. Though it is never easy to be in any kind of accident, having a general idea of what to do when involved in one may help ease some of the anxiety surrounding the incident.

The severity of a car accident is not predictable. It can be a minor incident where no one is hurt to an instance where one or more people suffer serious injuries. Thus, it is important to not ignore one's health following an accident. In fact, it may be helpful to get oneself medically evaluated to ensure that no injuries were suffered or, if injuries were received, they are treated properly. When medical treatment or attention is sought it is very important to keep track of all the information such as the time, the nature of the visit, the medical care and the outcome.

Next, police should be contacted and informed that an accident has occurred. Where injuries have been suffered, a police report will likely be filed and an accident victim should get a copy of it. If the accident is minor in nature, the police may not necessarily file a report. In such an event, it is important to gather as much information as possible at the scene of the accident. This includes getting the names of the driver or drivers involved and their contact information, insurance information such as policy numbers, vehicle details, names of passengers if any, as well as information from any witnesses. Taking pictures of the damage to the vehicles will be important as well.

One's insurance company should also be informed about the accident. If one suffered injuries and medical care was rendered, then records of all the medical treatments should be maintained. In some cases, those involved in a car wreck may not be able to work due to their injuries, thus causing a financial burden. Insurance companies and police will investigate the matter, but in many instances seeking a legal opinion on the matter may be a helpful step toward recovering much needed compensation.

Source: State Bar of Arizona, "Personal Injury Law: What You Need to Know," Accessed December 8, 2014

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

Keith A. Hammond, P.C. Attorney at Law
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