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After an accident: assessing injuries and vehicle damage

Getting into a motor vehicle accident can cause devastating damage to vehicles and property and serious injuries to those involved in the accident. No matter how minor a motor vehicle accident may appear, it is common to become emotional and agitated after being involved in an accident. Drivers and passengers should learn what to do if an accident occurs and how to assess vehicle damage in order to be prepared.

If a car accident occurs, the most important thing to do is to remain calm. Staying calm will help those involved to assess medical needs, exchange information with others involved in the accident and help the police make an accurate traffic incident report. Next, it's important to make sure that anyone who needs medical care receives it. First responders will be able to administer care and transport people to the hospital if necessary.

It's important to cooperate fully with police. It's their job to make an accurate traffic incident report. Drivers may want to keep a notebook and disposable camera in the vehicle and use them to write down key details and take pictures. They should make sure to include what direction and streets where vehicles were traveling. Pictures should include all vehicles involved, damaged property and nearby street signs. Some injuries may take several days or weeks to manifest themselves. If back or neck pain occurs later, an individual should see a doctor and keep documentation from all of the visits.

Motor vehicle accidents are on the rise; many believe this is due to distracted driving and the increased prevalence of drugs. In 2017, over 3,600 people died as a result of a traffic accident in California. Drivers have the responsibility to ensure that they aren't drowsy and aren't under the influence of drugs or alcohol before driving a vehicle. If a driver does drive while under the influence or becomes distracted or drowsy while driving, he or she may be legally responsible for medical and compensatory damages to the injured parties.

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