Americans are involved in about 6 million auto accidents every year. And while many of them are minor fender-benders, others are more serious and lead to about 3 million people being injured on an annual basis.
If you got into an accident recently and sustained injuries during it, there are specific steps that you should make sure you take in the aftermath of it. Not everyone knows what to do after a car accident, and some people end up paying the price for it.
Want to learn about what to do in a car accident involving injuries? Here are the five steps that you must take to ensure that you’re OK in both the short and long term.
Step 1: Call the Police
Right after an auto accident takes place, there is really only one thing that should be on your mind. You should pick up the phone and call the police right away or ask someone else to do it if you’re not able to because of injuries.
It’s going to be important for the police to show up on the scene of the accident as soon as possible so that they can start to put together a report on what happened. It’ll also be important because they’ll be able to contact the paramedics if you need them to come out to evaluate your condition.
When the police arrive at the accident scene, they’ll likely want to ask you and any other drivers involved in an accident a bunch of questions. They’ll also want to speak with any witnesses about what they saw take place. It’ll help them to create a police report that illustrates what went down before, during, and after your accident.
The police will also be able to do things like:
- Block off to the street so that you and your fellow drivers aren’t put into any other danger
- Clean up the accident so that the street can reopen
- Arrange to have your car towed away so that you can retrieve it later on
Don’t put off calling the police right away after an accident occurs.
Step 2: Seek Medical Attention
As we alluded to earlier, not all car accidents result in injuries taking place. There are plenty of people who are just fine following accidents.
But even if you feel fine and don’t think you were hurt after an auto accident, it’s still a good idea to seek medical attention so that you can get checked out for any injuries that you may have suffered. You should either get evaluated by paramedics at the scene of your accident or take a trip to your local hospital so that a doctor can take a look at you.
There are some car accident injuries, like broken bones, that are very easy to spot. But there are others, like whiplash, that might not rear their ugly heads until a few days after an accident. It’s why you should always seek medical attention after a car crash.
Step 3: Consider Contacting a Lawyer
Following a car crash, you’re going to want to let your car insurance company know that you got into an accident. You’re also going to want to keep an eye out for phone calls from the car insurance companies of other drivers that were involved in your accident.
But before you start speaking with car insurance representatives, you might also want to think about contacting a lawyer. They can advise you on what you should and shouldn’t say when talking to these reps.
If you rack up a bunch of medical bills and auto repair bills in the months following your auto accident, a lawyer might be able to get you compensated for them. But they may struggle to do this if you go ahead and talk to car insurance reps on your own without their guidance.
Step 4: Book an Appointment With a Chiropractor
There are some car accident injuries, like the aforementioned whiplash, that can linger for a long time. More often than not, these injuries will heal on their own, but you might have to take extra steps to nurse yourself back to health in some instances.
One great way to do this is by working with a chiropractor. There are chiropractors who specialize in helping those suffering from pain caused by a car crash.
Check out the website of this chiropractor to see how chiropractic care might be able to benefit you.
Step 5: Do What You Can do to Avoid Future Auto Accidents
Accidents are called accidents for a reason. You can’t predict when or where they’re going to happen, and in many cases, they’re unavoidable.
But with that being said, there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of being involved in an auto accident. For example, you can:
- Put down your smartphone when you’re driving and resist the urge to use it at any point
- Slow down when you’re driving and do the speed limit
- Look out for erratic drivers and stay out of their way
You can also limit the impact that an auto accident is able to have on you by always wearing a seatbelt when you’re behind the wheel. Fortunately, about 90% of people do this. But there are still some people out there driving around without a seatbelt.
Wearing a seatbelt can prevent a whole host of car accident injuries and even save your life in some cases.
If You Got Into an Accident Recently, You Should Work Your Way Through These Steps
Recovering from a car crash can be a long and confusing process. If you just got into an accident, you should use the steps listed here as a guide to recovery.
You should do whatever it takes to put your life back together in the months following your accident. It might not always be easy, but it’ll help you avoid having to deal with lingering issues for years to come.
Learn more about how to handle car accident injuries by browsing through the other articles found on our blog.