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You have to take the right steps after a car accident

No two car accidents are exactly the same, but there are some basic steps you need to take if you find yourself in this position. By knowing what you should and should not do, it's much easier to avoid additional stress during an already difficult time.

The first thing you should do is conduct a health check. Did you suffer any injuries in the accident? How about other people in your vehicle?

From there, do the following:

-- Notify authorities. In addition to police, don't hesitate to call for an ambulance if you have suffered an injury that requires immediate treatment.

-- Document the accident. This means many things, such as getting a copy of the police report, taking photos, and collecting contact information of any witnesses.

-- Exchange information with the other driver. You should always take this step, if you are able to do so, but that doesn't mean you have to discuss the finer details of the accident.

Along with the above, you'll want to contact your insurance company to report the accident. You can do this immediately following the accident, if you're in good enough health to do so.

Depending on the cause of the accident and your injuries, you may also want to learn more about your legal rights. You may be in position to receive compensation from the negligent party, but this is only the case if you take the right steps following your accident.

In the end, what matters most is that you receive medical treatment while also protecting your legal rights.

Source: Allstate, "4 Steps to Follow After a Car Accident," accessed April 26, 2017

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