In the United States, there are an average of 6 million car accidents every year.Being involved in a car accident can often be shocking and traumatizing. That’s why it’s so important to know what to do after a car accident before you actually end up in one.
After being in an accident, you may not start experiencing aches and pains until days later. Because of this, think twice before refusing medical attention at the scene of the accident.The time right after an accident is not when you should be acting tough. If there are emergency responders on the scene, tell them everything that is affecting you, no matter how mild it is. Injuries like internal bleeding and head trauma are important to spot right away because they are potentially fatal.If the paramedics want to take you to the hospital, strongly consider going with them. If you don’t end up going to the hospital, you should see your primary care physician as soon as possible. And if your doctor isn’t available, visit either an urgent care clinic or the hospital emergency room.
There are two reasons why it’s important to seek medical attention immediately following a car wreck. First, is to prevent potentially more severe pain or injury. Second, the longer you wait to see a doctor, the weaker your personal injury claim will become. By waiting a long time, the insurance company may claim some or all of your injuries were sustained after the time of the accident.
Look Out for Soft Tissue Injuries.
Damage to parts of your body other than a bone is referred to as a soft tissue injury. Injuries felt in the ligaments, tendons, and muscles are all soft tissue injuries.Even a low-speed accident is powerful enough to generate a high amount of force. When an accident occurs, it usually results in a fast and sudden stop. When this happens, a lot of stress is placed on vulnerable parts of the body including joints.The most well-known type of soft tissue injury is “whiplash”. Whiplash is when the head is suddenly thrown forward and then back, causing an injury to the neck muscles.The important thing to realize is that symptoms of soft tissue injuries like whiplash can take weeks or even months to appear. If you think you might start experiencing whiplash symptoms soon, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor
Continue Treatment Until You’re Told to Stop.
If your doctor diagnoses an injury after a car accident and begins treatment, continue with the treatment until your doctor tells you it’s time to stop.There are two primary reasons why it’s important you continue your treatment all the way through. First, your doctor is in the best position to prescribe you specific treatment as well as determine how serious your injury is. Following your treatment as prescribed is the best way to a speedy recovery.
The second reason is there will be a record of all the times you visited your doctor. These records will confirm the extent and nature of your visits and also the timeframe and course of your treatment. Medical bills, as well as medical treatment, are a big part of damages in a personal injury case.
Go Over the Doctor’s Treatment Records
Be sure to ask for a copy of your medical records. You want to carefully review everything and make sure your doctor can correct any errors.Pay close attention to how the records describe your car accident. This description is typically one of the first parts in the records. Make sure the doctor accurately described how the accident took place and didn’t misunderstand any of the facts.For example, does the report state that you were hit on the driver’s side, when in actuality you were hit on the passenger’s side? Does it say you were going 30 mph when you were really going 20 mph?Although it can be cumbersome to comb through medical records, it’s absolutely necessary. Errors must be identified and fixed as the defense team and insurance adjusters may otherwise use them to discredit your take on the accident.Also, make sure your medical records state your precise symptoms. And lastly, check to be sure your doctor got your medical history correct. If a doctor erroneously puts that you have a history of back problems, but you’ve actually never had a back issue in the past, then this is something that needs to be corrected.The defense team always looks at your medical history in hopes of finding something like a pre-existing condition or earlier injury, so they can claim the accident didn’t actually cause your current symptoms.You want to be as involved with the claims process as you can so your odds of winning are as high as possible.Having detailed reports from both the police and EMS (Emergency Medical Services) will bring a lot of value to your personal injury case. A detailed police report will contain information about weather conditions, insurance information, witnesses, accident diagrams, and more.The EMS report will detail your injuries and the type of medical care you received immediately following the accident. These reports are great to have and can definitely strengthen a case, but they don’t contain everything.
If you’re physically able, you’ll have to do some evidence gathering yourself too
Take photos of everything related to the accident, while at the scene. Also, snap some shots of the points of impact on both your car and the other party’s vehicle. Perhaps most importantly, take photos of your injuries as well. It’s important to know how to document your injuries and other losses.
Collect Vital Information
If the police arrive at the scene of the accident, they will most likely take care of this. However, if they don’t come for some reason, then it’s up to you to exchange information. After a car accident takes place, you’ll always want to collect the following information:The driver’s name, telephone number, address, work number, and email address. The driver’s insurance company’s name, telephone number, and the driver’s policy number. Contact information for everyone else in the other vehicle, the make, model, Vehicle Identification Number, and license plate number of the other car, the names and contact information of all the witnesses.
Notify Your Insurance Company
No matter who was at fault, notify your insurance company after reporting the accident to 911. Practically all auto insurance policies come with a “notification clause” or FNOL (First Notice of Loss).This clause typically means you agree to alert your insurance company whenever there is damage or theft to the vehicle. You also agree to cooperate in the insurance company’s investigation.By immediately notifying your insurance company, you might be able to take advantage of certain benefits including med-pay, coverage for a car rental, or car repair reimbursement.
Be Prepared by Knowing What to Do After a Car Accident Injury
By knowing what to do after a car accident injury, you’ll be able to take care care of yourself. It can be very easy to give up your rights or potential benefits when you are still dealing with the trauma of an accident.The best way to protect yourself is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney.
Interested in learning more? Contact us today and we’ll help you with all your car accident questions.You can speak with us for free. Call 904 LAW-1212 anytime, day or night.