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3 key actions to take following a car wreck

Auto accidents can cause a great deal of harm. Last year, the Ohio State Patrol suspected that more than 18,000 crashes — a full 28% of those investigated — may have resulted in injuries.

If you were in a car wreck, you may not know what procedures to follow. If this is your first accident, you may have questions even days after the event. What should you do? Here are three recommendations.

Document the accident

Take pictures at the time of the wreck, including your vehicle, the other vehicle and your surroundings. Note skid marks, signs, obstructions and any other details that may help you explain what happened. Exchange insurance and contact information with all parties, including the other driver and any witnesses.

Keep your pictures off social media. Do not post about the crash on any site.

Report the crash

Sometimes the other driver will suggest keeping the accident off the record. He or she may offer to pay for damages in an attempt to keep the police and insurance companies from getting involved. Do not cooperate with such requests; report the crash to the police and both insurance companies.

Seek medical care

Many injuries are apparent at the scene, but others can remain hidden for days or weeks. Even if you think you are all right, see a doctor in the days following a wreck. A stiff neck or sore back may indicate herniated discs that can cause permanent mobility issues. Recurring headaches, dizziness or mood swings may be signs of traumatic brain injury.

You may have to pay initially with your medical insurance, but early treatment is the key to recovery. Medical bills may be high, but the cost of waiting can be much higher.

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