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Car accident checklist: Here's what you should do after a crash

Most Little Rock drivers have their heads filled with so many things while they're on the road. If you're a busy mom, for example, you have a lot of issues on your mind and you're probably struggling to fit them all into your schedule.

Throw a car crash into the mix of a busy mom's schedule and you've got the perfect recipe for losing your wits. Whether you're a busy mom or not, you might want to keep a copy of this car accident checklist in your glove box as it could prevent you from overlooking important details if you're in a car accident.

Follow these steps if you were in a car collision

Following these steps will help you stay focused on the most important things following a crash - even if you're a busy mom. It will also help you avoid common and completely unnecessary problems that many car accident victims suffer from.

1. Safety is your number one priority: Check to see if you're injured. The shock of the experience could make you overlook an injury, so check your body for any signs of problems. Next, check your passengers for injuries and then look to the other cars and their drivers and passengers for signs of injury. Report all injuries by immediately calling 911.

2. Stay calm and breathe: You might notice you're feeling a little bit shaky after a crash. That's because the experience will cause your body to release a lot of stress hormones that could leave you in a state of shock. Take a moment to sit down and breath, and do whatever you can to keep your focus and wits about you.

3. Be careful what you say: What you say following your traffic accident to police investigators could be used against you in any litigation that follows. Realize that your own perceptions of the accident could be much different from what actually occurred. As such, it is important that you never admit that the crash was your fault. Continued investigations could reveal that you are not responsible for the incident, even if you believe that you were.

4. Trade information: Always have a pen and paper handy in your glove compartment so you can write down everyone's information. This includes phone numbers, addresses, vehicle license numbers, drivers' license numbers, insurance policy numbers and other important information. Also, write down information from witnesses and badge numbers and names of police who tended to the crash.

5. Take pictures of damage: If you have a smartphone or camera on-hand, you will want to take pictures of all vehicle damage, the accident scene and personal injuries. Also, take notes about the accident while the details continue to be in your memory. You may even want to draw a diagram of the crash scene.

6. Always call the police: Sometimes, it might seem like a crash is so minor that it isn't necessary to call the police. However, filing an accident report could protect you in the event that litigation arises from the incident later on down the road. The police report will also be important if you file an accident claim.

7. Contact your insurance company: You should always contact your insurance company after an accident. This will put your insurer on notice in case a claim pops up. It will also be necessary if you, yourself, have an insurance claim that needs to be made.

Car accident victims may want to talk with a lawyer

Depending on the extent of personal injuries and property damages stemming from a car crash, Little Rock moms involved in car accidents - and anyone else involved in a crash - may want to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer to discuss the potential of filing a lawsuit.

Sometimes, a personal injury lawyer can help to negotiate an insurance settlement with your insurance company to ensure you are compensated justly for financial damages. Other times, it may be necessary to pursue a claim for financial damages against the driver deemed to be at fault for your car accident and injuries.

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