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5 steps you need to take after a car accident

Every year, there are millions of car accidents in the United States - with New Hampshire motorists experiencing their own fair share of these fender benders.

Unfortunately, determining fault after a car accident often boils down to your word against the word of the other driver. This is why it is so important for you to keep a level head and make sure to follow certain steps - or risk being left holding the bag.

  1. Seek medical treatment: If you or anyone else has been injured in the car accident, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you don't think your injuries are serious, it is still a good idea to talk to your doctor. After all, you may have suffered an internal injury you are not aware of.
  2. Dial 911: You should always call 911, whether you need an ambulance, a police officer or both. Once the officer arrives, tell him or her exactly what happened, especially since you may need an accurate and complete police report later when you file an insurance claim or possible lawsuit.
  3. Take pictures: Evidence can quickly disappear as time passes and people leave the scene of the accident, so you should take pictures of the accident right away. You should also collect the names and contact information of any possible witnesses. Lastly, don't forget to get the name, phone number and insurance information of the other driver, as well as the make, model, VIN number and license plate number of his or her car. All of this information may be needed should the insurance company decide not to pay your claim.
  4. Make your own record: Following the accident, you should always write down or record your own recollection of the events while it is still fresh in your mind. Also, if the final police report does not match your version of events - whether because you didn't tell the officer certain facts or because the officer simply wrote down the wrong information - you may want to contact the police department and see if you can speak to the officer about a possible modification.
  5. Call a lawyer: Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to show an insurance company that it cannot take advantage of you. Your lawyer can help you investigate your accident and ensure your rights are protected.

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