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What to do if you are in a car accident

There were over 128,000 car crashes in Pennsylvania in 2017. These crashes claimed over 1,000 lives and injured over 80,000 people, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Car crashes happen all too often. Still, sometimes it is difficult to know what to do after one does happen.

Being in a car accident can be a frightening experience. Regardless of what happened, it is important to stay calm. If you are physically able, there are several actions you should take immediately following an accident.

First, you should call 911. This will connect you with police, who will often come out to help you at the scene of the accident. By involving the police, you also ensure there will be a police report of the incident, which your insurance company may require. You also protect yourself from the other driver changing his or her story later on.

Another benefit you have by calling 911 first is that you can also alert paramedics if you or the other driver is injured. It is important you seek medical attention right away if you have been in a car accident because the injuries may be worse than you think. The shock of the accident could prevent you from initially realizing the full extent of your injuries.

Next, you should exchange car insurance and driver’s license information with the other driver and document the accident. Be sure to take photos of both vehicles, even if there was no damage. This helps protect you from any false or inaccurate claims.

Then, you need to report the accident to your car insurance company. It is important not to wait too long before doing this because some insurance policies may not provide coverage to claims that are not reported in a timely manner.

A car accident can be a traumatic experience. However, by initiating these first important steps, you can avoid many additional problems later on.

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