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Take these steps after a car crash

What you do after a car accident can be very important on a number of different levels. For one thing, you want to make sure you and the others in your vehicle are safe and healthy. On top of that, though, the things you do can have a big impact on your ability to collect compensation -- which can be a significant issue when facing high medical bills, lost wages or a permanent disability.

First off, as noted above, check on the other people in the accident. Always prioritize this, and get medical help if it is required.

With that done, though, you want to start by taking pictures of the crash. Documentation can help to show exactly what the damage looked like, where the crash happened and whose fault it was. Take pictures of your own vehicle and the other vehicle.

Next, talk to any witnesses. Maybe someone on the sidewalk saw what happened; maybe the car behind you had a dashcam and recorded the whole thing. Witness testimony that backs up your own can help show that you are right if you and the other driver disagree on whose fault the crash was.

During all of this, take a moment to exchange information with the other driver, if possible. Exchange insurance information and contact information. You don't have to blame the other driver and never admit fault, but you need to get these important details.

Finally, you may need to file a report regarding the accident. If so, this should be done promptly. For accidents in which the police were called, you will be able to get a copy of the police accident report after a certain number of days, which varies by department.

Remember, you may have the right to seek financial compensation in Illinois when another driver causes an accident.

Source: Edmunds, "What to Do After a Car Accident," Philip Reed, accessed Aug. 04, 2016

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