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When bumper meets bumper, how should you handle the aftermath?

You're driving down the road, safe as could be, when you see a stop sign lingering on the horizon. As you approach it, you slow down in an appropriate fashion and come to a complete stop. But the car behind you doesn't, and you're involved in a rear-end collision that leaves both vehicles damaged.

Now, many people may have been involved in an accident much like this in their lifetime -- but many others haven't. Those folks may not know what to do in the wake of a car accident. So today, we're going to point out a few helpful tips for handling the aftermath of a car accident.

The most important thing to do is to stay at the scene of the accident. Fleeing the scene not only makes you look guilty or at fault in some way, it is also illegal and constitutes an offense. Besides, staying at the scene gives you a chance to take a few other helpful steps.

For example, you can take photos of the accident scene, giving you some potential evidence to show your insurance company or to use in civil court. You can also talk to people who witnessed the accident (if there are witnesses) and take down their account of the wreck.

Outside of gathering evidence and talking to witnesses, you need to check on the other people involved in the wreck. Ensure that they don't need medical care, and if they do, call 911 and listen to what emergency officials tell you.

Source: FindLaw, "After a Car Accident: First Steps," Accessed Feb. 4, 2016

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