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What to do immediately following a car accident

Accidents happen so rapidly that the details can become blurred and confused. One mishap can cause a chain of reactions and a two-car accident can quickly become a five-car pile-up. It is sometimes difficult, then, to assign fault in these kinds of large-scale accidents, as most of those involved do not have a clear idea of what exactly occurred. This is why it is always helpful to have an understanding of the best steps to take immediately following an accident.

A large-scale accident took place recently in Tennessee that started with a seemingly insignificant occurrence. A man stepped outside of his car in the middle of an interstate highway. Attempting to avoid the man, a semi-trailer truck tried to swerve out of the way but clipped the man's bumper, pushing the car into the way of a second semi. A forth vehicle then lost control, hitting the semi, and then a fifth vehicle ran over the man's body and he died. Other drivers sustained injuries as well.

There are a few important things to remember after an accident occurs. The first and perhaps most important is to not leave the scene. By leaving the scene it is possible to face criminal charges even when one is not at fault, and it lessens the chance of successfully pressing charges against whoever was actually at fault.

Then, after calling the police and exchanging information with other drivers, it is always helpful to talk to eyewitnesses who may have been able to accurately see what happened. This will strengthen a case in court should one choose to press charges. After the car accident, keeping track of medical expenses, getting damage assessments and consulting with an attorney are all good ways of protecting one's legal rights.

Source: The Journal Times, "Racine man killed in Tenn. accident," Nov. 10, 2013

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