Most people try to avoid being in a car accident at all costs, but it’s still a situation that will happen to many people, despite their best efforts.
After all, you may do your best to be a safe and responsible driver, but everything else is out of your control. Other drivers may drive recklessly and cause an accident, and of course, freak accidents or accidents due to weather can also happen. Therefore, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself for what to do if you have been involved in a car crash, especially if you’ve been injured.
Determine the cause of the accident
Determining the cause of the accident will also be important for your next step. Your medical provider will likely want to know exactly what happened so that they can treat your injuries correctly, and you will also need to details for your police report and insurance claims – although we’ll get to that later.
Of course, if someone else caused the accident, you may also have grounds for a personal injury case, in which case you should contact attorneys such as Lamber Goodnow.
Take photos of the crash
If you weren’t seriously injured and your phone is still working, it’s a good idea to take a few photos of the crash. Try to get as many as possible; snap photos of the entire scene as well as close-up details of your car and any others involved in the crash. Later, you can also take some photos of your injuries.
These photos will be necessary for your insurance claims and police report, and if you do end up filing a personal injury lawsuit, they can act as evidence.
Seek medical attention
You always need to go to a doctor after a car accident, even if you feel fine. Remember that you may be in shock, which means your body may not register its injuries until much later. And since many injuries caused by car accidents are internal and thus not visible, you may not know that you have an injury until you’ve visited a doctor.
Even if you’ve gotten the all-clear, you should still keep an eye out for any pains or symptoms that appear in the following days. You may also have a concussion, so if you experience any of these symptoms, try to reach a healthcare professional as soon as possible.
Another step that you should take is to exchange details with anyone else who was involved in the accident. Get their name and number, and be sure to jot down their license plate as well. This will make things easier when it comes to later steps. However, you also need to be willing to give your information to them.
Keep in mind that, if there are any witnesses who saw the accident, it can be helpful to get their details as well, in case you need to clarify something, or in case you need someone to testify.
File a police report
Filing a police report may seem like an extreme step, but it’s the right thing to do if another party was involved in the accident.
Firstly, there needs to be a record of the accident. Secondly, you need to write your report down as soon as possible, while the details are still fresh in your memory. If you wait a few days to file a report or jot everything down, you may miss some important information. For some tips on filing a police report, click here.
Contact your insurance provider
Hopefully, you have car insurance, so you should try to contact them and inform them of the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with as many details as you can.
The sooner you do this, the better, since you will likely want your claim to go through quickly so that the damage to your car can be repaired. If you have medical insurance, now is also the time to get in touch with them so that you don’t have to worry about your hospital and other medical bills being paid.
Take care of your mental health
Some people may not be affected by a car accident, whereas others may feel like it was a life-changing moment. Of course, traumatic car accidents that cause serious loss and injuries may lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, or PTSD, but even if your car accident wasn’t that severe, you may find that there are some mental consequences that you need to deal with. Many people are scared of driving after a car accident.
If you notice that the car accident has negatively impacted your mental health, it’s a good idea to look into therapy, either traditional or online.
Figure out the logistics
The important thing is to take care of your health and then make sure that there is a record of everything so that the ball can get rolling for any next steps. However, the work doesn’t stop here.
Unfortunately, a car accident can affect your life in many ways, so you need to have a plan of action. If your car was badly damaged, you won’t be able to drive it, so you need to make a plan for alternative transport. Similarly, if you were seriously injured, you may be unable to work for a while, so it can be helpful to get in touch with your employer to arrange sick leave.
Car accidents aren’t ideal. Serious car accidents can upend your entire life, and even a less severe car accident can have some unpleasant consequences.
While you should always drive safely and do your best to avoid car accidents, these types of things are often out of our control, which is why you need to prepare yourself for what to do if the situation ever arises.
Hopefully, this won’t ever happen, but if it does, you can always come back to this post so that you know which steps to follow after being in a car crash.