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What do I do if I'm in a car accident in the holidays?

As the holiday season approaches, Ohio residents may find themselves rushing to get their holiday shopping done on time to avoid the crowds near the middle of the month. Crowds inside the stores lead to crowds outside the stores, specifically in parking lots. Everyone wants the parking space nearest to the store so they can avoid walking distances in the Ohio cold, but as shoppers drive about looking for the ideal parking spot they may not be paying attention to other vehicles, leading to a minor accident.

Don't take the term 'minor accident' lightly though because it can involve property damage of thousands of dollars, not to mention physical harm as well. It is common for there to be an increase in parking lot crashes near the holiday season, more than tripling in some places.

What should you do if you are involved in a car accident in the holiday season? First of all, if the accident takes place on private property, police rarely get involved unless there is an injury or some criminal activity occurs, such as a drunk driving accident.

Therefore, drivers should exchange information with one another and if one party doesn't do so, police can arrive on the scene. In addition to this, police officers encourage motorists to take pictures of the license plate, the damage, even the driver's license to ensure proper records.

Since determining fault is important in these cases, checking if there are any witnesses who saw what happened usually helps. You can give the witness information on how to contact your insurance company to file an official report of what they saw.

Driving carefully, paying attention when backing out of your parking space and staying aware of other drivers and pedestrians are all ways you can avoid car accidents this holiday season and spend it joyfully with your family.

Source: krwg.com, "What to do if you have a car accident during your holiday shopping," Samantha Sonner, Dec. 1, 2014

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