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What should I do right after a car accident?

Your first concern should be for your safety and the safety of others. If you are in traffic and in danger of getting hit by other cars, get to the side of the road as quickly and safely as possible. Move the cars to the shoulder if this can be done safely and if necessary to avoid further collisions; otherwise, leave the cars as-is so the police can better assess who caused the crash. Call 9-1-1 to summon the police, as well as any medical personnel who may be needed.

While waiting for the police to arrive, exchange information with the other driver, including names, phone numbers, and insurance company names and policy numbers. Don’t go into details about your coverage or policy limits, and don’t engage in a discussion of who was at fault. Also, don’t offer any apology that sounds like you think the accident was your fault. If any witnesses are available, try to get their names and phone numbers as well, and ask them what they saw. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the accident scene, including skid marks, damage to both vehicles, etc.

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