The other day I talked about what you need to do to be prepared for a car accident, but hardly is it discussed what to do directly after an accident. I can’t say that my advice would pertain to every accident, but I learned a few things from being in one. Therefore, I think it best to start with my own story.

In 2005 my husband and I were moving from a small town to a bigger one for a job. The drive was two hours away. He had already moved a few weeks previous, but I was still finishing up my job at a bank in a small town. During this time, I was driving two hours between the small town and the big one to see him and to be with family.

It was three days before I was officially done with my job in the small town, but my dad was getting baptized in the church the rest of the family had shared for years. I couldn’t miss that event. I had spent my childhood hoping he would one day join us in our religion. So once again I began to the two hour drive to the big city.

Of course, I couldn’t leave until I was finished with work. That put me in the middle of rush hour traffic. There is one stretch of road that is always crowed and that day it was at a standstill. It took me a good hour to get through the mess, and I was eager to get moving so that I wouldn’t be later than I already was. The traffic was still rough. It was six o’clock and people were making their way home from work. Still, the speed of the cars around me had picked up.

Naturally, I was looking for the fastest way to get to where I wanted to be. That put me in the left most lane. I wasn’t the only one trying to get places and the car behind me was mirroring my moves. Then it happened. A car in front was stopped abruptly.

I slammed on the brakes and the car skidded to a stop, I was inches away from the front cars bumper when the car behind me smashed into mine and sent me crashing into the car in front. I forced myself to keep my eyes open so that I could know what happened, and that was the first thing I did right.

After taking a few deep breaths of air I slowly started moving body parts to make sure I was okay. Being sandwiched between two cars could have been seriously bad. I called 911 and they transferred me to highway patrol, and then we waited. Once I felt safe leaving the car I did. I surveyed the damage.

My airbag hadn’t gone off, but there was still a chance the car was totaled. I didn’t talk to other drivers we all just sat there and looked at each other bewildered. When the cops showed up they each took our stories. I told them about how I was just able to stop, but the guy behind me wasn’t.

The car in front said she was hit twice. Since I hadn’t gathered enough evidence to prove otherwise, I paid her car bills. The point is, there is one thing that you should do after an accident.

Make sure you know exactly what happened, and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself!

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