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Every time you get behind the wheel of your vehicle you’re at risk of an accident. There are steps you can personally take to protect yourself, but that doesn’t have any impact on other drivers. You’ll always have concerns that someone else could make a mistake that causes a crash.

Here’s what you should do if you’re in a car accident:

  • Don’t rush to get out: Stay in your vehicle to assess your injuries. Also, getting out when you’re in close proximity to traffic increases the risk of being struck by a passing vehicle.
  • Move to safety: If your vehicle is still operating, slowly move to a safe place. For example, if the accident occurred on the interstate, move to the shoulder of the road or a rest area.
  • Examine yourself and passengers for injuries: Take a deep breath, try to remain calm and check yourself from head to toe for injuries. Sometimes these are easy to pinpoint. Other times, not so much.
  • Call 911: Even if you don’t suspect major injuries, you should still call 911. This speeds up the process of police and an ambulance arriving at the scene.

After you take these steps and receive medical treatment, if necessary, contact your insurance company to file a claim. Stick to the basics when doing so, as anything you say can harm your ability to obtain the compensation you deserve.

Don’t sell yourself short. You’re dealing with a variety of financial losses and damages, and it’s critical that you protect your legal rights until the claims process comes to an end.