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Key initial steps to take after an auto accident

You can never predict a car accident in Illinois, so you must learn about some of the key first steps to take in advance. This way, if and when that crash does come, you'll be able to stay calm and follow the proper procedures to get the outcome that you desire.

Of course, the first thing you should do will probably also be your natural instinct: Seeking medical attention for yourself and any loved ones or passengers injured in the accident.

It's also very important never to leave the scene of a crash. Not only are there laws against this, but it can weaken your claim if you think the other person was at fault. Furthermore, leaving means you can't do the following things, which are very important:

Trading contact information

You need to know who the other driver is and what insurance he or she has. You should also provide this information to that driver. Do this regardless of fault.

Taking photos

It's important to take pictures of the scene for a few reasons. For one, they can help to show the police how the accident happened. On top of that, they'll show the damage that was done, which your insurance company is going to want to know about.

Interviewing witnesses

Depending on the accident, the police may interview the witnesses as well, but you can talk to them on the scene if you'd like. They can help to provide perspective and important testimonies, and you may also want to ask if any of them have dash cam footage of the accident.

Source: FindLaw, "After a Car Accident: First Steps," accessed April. 21, 2015

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