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What to do when you're in a car accident

What are your responsibilities if you get into a car accident with a dangerous driver? Oregon's Department of Motor Vehicles is clear on your responsibilities and how to handle any injuries or claims you have. Your attorney can help you with your claim if you need to be hospitalized or file against multiple parties, but you'll want to take these steps before you get to that stage of your case.

First of all, both vehicles must stop. Whether it's you who has been struck by a dangerous driver or you who hit someone else, it's important that everyone stays at the scene. If you leave, even if you were the victim, you could be accused of a hit and run.

Once everyone is at the scene, it's important to provide aid when possible. For example, if the driver who struck you has a concussion or is unwell, help in whatever capacity you can. If you have to call for emergency medical care, then the person on the phone should be able to help you through the situation until help can arrive. If you're injured yourself, the other party, if he or she is able, should come to your aid.

If you're both able to do so, exchange all the information you can, so you can reach out to the other party's insurance provider and him or her if necessary. You'll want the person's name, address, the vehicle plate identification and insurance information if possible. After this information is exchanged, the accident has to be reported; if the police are at the scene, they should do that step for you.

Source: Oregon.gov, "Your Responsibilities in an Accident," accessed Jan. 28, 2016

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