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After a car accident

Getting in a motor vehicle accident can be one of the most frightening experiences for Washington residents. The weeks and months following a crash can also cause you a great deal of grief. It may help to understand the steps to take following an accident.

The things you say and do after a crash might impact your claim, as well as whether you are considered responsible.

Immediately after the accident

Right after a crash, the first few steps you take are crucial. It is important to ensure you and others involved are safe before speaking with other drivers and law enforcement. Immediately after the collision, you will need to:

  • Move your vehicle to a safe place out of the way of traffic, such as a side street or the shoulder of the road.
  • Check to be sure others, such as your passengers or those in the other vehicles involved in the crash, are all right and do not need immediate medical attention. If there is a medical emergency, call for an ambulance right away.
  • Call the police, no matter how minor the accident seems. A police report may protect your case if the other party takes legal action. Talk to authorities, witnesses and the other people involved, and write down their contact information. Do not apologize under any circumstances, as this may be seen as an admission of guilt.

The next few days

You might be feeling overwhelmed in the days following your crash, but you will need to address your claim. As soon as you can, call your insurance company. Pay attention to your physical symptoms. You might have suffered an injury, such as whiplash, that was not immediately apparent after the accident. Remain in contact with your insurer and the other party's insurance company, and follow their instructions regarding vehicle repair.

There is much to do after a car crash, but when you understand the steps and take things one day at a time, the experience may be less overwhelming.

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