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09/22/06   |   By

You’ve Had an Auto Accident: What Do You Do Now? | DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog

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Experts estimate that there are approximately 6.4 million car accidents in the United States every year. At that rate, we can predict that just about everyone will be involved in a car accident at some point in his or her lifetime. However, most people do not know what to do – or not do – after a car accident.

When in an accident, experts advise that you should take the following measures:

  • First make sure that you and your passengers are not injured;
  • Move your vehicle out of the roadway if it is safe to do so, and remain as far from the roadway as possible;
  • Activate your hazard lights or flares to warn oncoming traffic;
  • Call the police;
  • Do not admit fault;
  • Exchange names, phone numbers, addresses, tag numbers, and insurance information with all other drivers;
  • Obtain the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident;
  • Contact your insurance company.

It is also a good idea to prepare for the worst when you take to the road.  Edmunds.com includes the following suggestions for what you should keep in your car at all times:

  • An Accident Checklist to use as a guide for obtaining complete information from other drivers;
  • A disposable camera to take pictures of the accident scene;
  • A card noting medical conditions or allergies that you and your family or passengers may have;
  • A set of flares, cones, or warning triangles in the trunk of your car.
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