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My car was just rear-ended – what now?

Even though most California drivers are familiar with general road safety guidelines relating to what to do in the event of a car accident, the experience of actually being in a collision can be incredibly scary and disorientating. Familiarizing yourself with post-accident safety measures, as well as practical information for properly handling the incident report process, can help to ensure that you are ready and able to deal with the aftermath of an accident if necessary.

Of course, securing your safety, as well as that of any passengers in your vehicle, is always top priority after being involved in a car accident. That is why State Farm Insurance recommends calling for police and/or emergency services immediately following a car accident. Requesting ambulance assistance is advisable, even if you believe that your injuries are minor. Similarly, it’s important to try to calm yourself, along with anyone else in your car. Depending on the nature and severity of the collision, it’s also recommended that you move your vehicle to the side of the road and secure the accident scene by using emergency signals, such as flares or your vehicle’s hazard lights.

Once you feel that the immediate safety needs of you and your passengers are met, you can begin the process of submitting the necessary car accident incident claims. When describing the collision to law enforcement officers, it’s important to be as factual as possible. What you do and don’t say to authorities may factor into any resulting accident investigations and/or personal injury complaints. Also, documenting the other party’s contact information, automobile registration and insurance status can be helpful when it comes to reporting the incident to the DMV.

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