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Five crucial steps to take after a car accident in New Jersey

A 1-year-old New Jersey boy was killed over the weekend by an alleged drunk driver. His 5-year-old brother is fighting for his life, and his mother was seriously injured.

The accident happened in Raritan Borough around 7:00 on Saturday night. The mother and her two sons were walking to a park - and celebrating the child's first birthday. The alleged drunk driver hit a number of parked vehicles, lost control of his own vehicle and hit all three family members as they were walking down the sidewalk.

The 1-year old was in a stroller, which was hit and dragged by the vehicle. The vehicle only came to a stop after hitting more parked cars.

What steps should you take if you are injured in a car accident - whether you are in the driver's seat or walking down the street?

Get proper medical attention

This is obvious if you are in a major car accident, but what if it is just a minor fender bender? You should still see your healthcare provider as soon as possible. You may have suffered injuries that you are not even aware of, but which may present themselves in the future if not handled properly now.

Call the proper authorities

You might not think about calling the police if it is just a minor accident, but you should report any car accident so that it is documented via a police report. You may need that report in the future. It's also a good idea to get the names and badge numbers of the responding officers, in case you need to get in touch with them down the road.

Get the other driver's information

If the accident involves another vehicle - and that vehicle has stopped - you will need to get some information from the driver. Be polite, and never apologize - this could be viewed as an indication that you were at fault.

Here is the information you should request from the other driver:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Driver's license number
  • License plate number
  • Make, model and year of vehicle
  • Insurance information

If there are passengers in the other car, get their name, address and phone number as well.

Take photos if possible

Just about everybody has a smart phone with them at all times. If you are able, take photos - or even video - of the accident scene, the damage to your car, and the injuries sustained by you or your passengers.

Talk to bystanders

Accidents are often witnessed by other drivers or pedestrians. Ask if anyone witnessed the accident. If they did, get their version of what happened along with their personal information.

A car accident can leave you not only injured, but shaken and upset as well - which is completely understandable. Whether you file an insurance claim or pursue legal action, remembering to take these five crucial steps after an accident can improve your chances of a positive outcome.

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