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Steps to take if you've been in a car accident

Right after an auto accident you are likely to be in a state of shock and emotional distress. The purpose of this post is to give Billings readers of this blog some information about some things they should do if they find themselves in this traumatic situation.

First of all, it is critical to remain at the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident before police arrive can result in criminal charges, especially if injuries are involved. If there are injuries or if there is serious damage to any of the vehicles, you should call 911 right away to report the accident. You should get the names, phone numbers, addresses and insurance information for all the drivers involved, as well as any witnesses.

It is human nature to want to say you're sorry. But it is important not to do this after a car accident. You may think the accident was your fault, but fault is not always clear and if there is a lawsuit an apology could be considered an admission.

When you get home, contact your insurance company right away. Don't hesitate to get medical treatment if you think you have been hurt. And if you have suffered injuries, think about calling an experienced personal injury attorney.

Don't discuss the accident with anyone except your lawyer, law enforcement officers and your insurance company. Don't accept any settlement offer or sign anything without talking to your attorney first. Keep a record of your medical treatment, including the dates of hospital and doctor visits and the names of treating doctors.

Source:, "After a Car Accident: First Steps," accessed Sept. 15, 2014

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