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Nobody ever gets behind the wheel of a car planning to get into a wreck. At least we all hope not, anyway. But knowing how to handle things at the scene of an accident is often the best step for protecting yourself in the event of medical and legal damages.

Whether it is a fender-bender or a more serious accident, there are steps you should take following a vehicle crash as long as you able to function.

You should know who to call to report the crash and what sort of information to gather at the scene.

Check for injuries

You must first examine yourself for injuries and then check on anyone else involved in the accident. If anyone appears to have an injury, immediately call 911.

Make calls

Contact the police to report the crash. In fact, under Oklahoma law, you must call the police before leaving the scene of an accident in which there are injuries or considerable property damage. You must also call your insurance company promptly to let an agent know about the damage to your vehicle.

Exchange information

Exchange insurance information with the other driver. You will want the name, address and phone number along with insurance company and policy information. Keep the conversation brief and to the point. Do not accept responsibility for causing the crash, even if you feel you were at fault. Let the police sort out the details.

Snap pictures

Use the camera on your cellphone to take pictures from different angles. Photograph the license plate on any car involved in the crash along with the damage to the vehicles. Take photos of any visible injuries that you or anyone else has sustained.

Gather additional information

Take down the name and badge number of any law enforcement officer who comes to the scene. Try to obtain the name and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. Jot down notes about the location of the accident, including any markers such as a street sign or the name of a nearby store. Make notes about the weather conditions and the direction you were traveling and that the other vehicle was traveling at the time of the crash.

See a doctor

Even if you feel nothing more troublesome than jangled nerves, see a doctor promptly in case you have injuries that are not immediately apparent. Provide your attorney with the medical report as well as a copy of the police report. Both will provide important information when the time comes for you to file an insurance company claim.