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What should I do after a car accident?

After getting hit by a negligent driver, the typical New York resident will be shell-shocked to say the least. Adrenaline will be pumping through your bloodstream and it will be hard to stay focused. For that reason, you may want to keep a list of the following steps handy.

Here are the things you should do after a car crash:

-- Don't leave the accident site: Not only is it illegal to leave the scene of a car crash, but you will also want to help any injured parties in need of assistance.

-- Check up on everyone involved: Go around to all the people involved in the crash and ask them if they're okay. Make sure to tell the 911 operator about any injuries and the severity of them.

-- Call 911: It doesn't matter if there is an injury or not, call 911 and notify the operator of the accident. The operator will ask you several questions to assess the situation dispatch a police officer to the scene. Be sure to ask for the police report and the identity and badge number of the officers who arrive.

-- Trade information: Write down the names, addresses, numbers, emails, license numbers, plate numbers and insurance information of those involved in the crash.

-- Don't apologize or admit fault: No matter what happened in the crash and no matter how you feel, do not apologize for any actions. Your apology might be an admission of guilt and it could potentially be used against you.

-- Speak with witnesses: Get information about what witnesses saw, write down their names and contact information, and take notes on their accounts.

-- Call your insurance company: Be sure to notify your insurance company of your accident and explain what happened to them as clearly as possible. Be honest and truthful.

-- Save your medical records: Save all receipts pertaining to your medical records. Keep a record of any expenses incurred, any diagnoses and other information from your medical treatment.

-- Take pictures: Take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries.

You may also want to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer will evaluate the facts surrounding your crash to determine if you can seek financial compensation for your injuries from an at fault party.

Source: FindLaw, "First steps after a car accident," accessed Feb. 24, 2017

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