Personal Injury: How to Take Care of Yourself After a Car Wreck
Unfortunately, so do car accidents.
According to the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015 alone there were over 6,296,000 car accidents reported to the police.
Bear in mind this represents only the number of car wrecks; it does not count number of occupants, the severity of their injuries, or how many vehicles were involved. And it only tallies motor vehicle accidents reported to police.
The First Thing to do After an Accident
After a car wreck, you may be understandably upset. There is a lot going on. Even if you think you are not hurt, emotions tend to run high after a traumatic event. The first thing you should do immediately after an accident is to make sure no one is hurt. You should also remain at the scene until you are certain it is okay to leave. In many states if someone was injured, leaving could be a criminal offense.
Injuries Come First
If you think you may be injured, or someone else may have been hurt, call 911 before you do anything else. Everything else can wait. The police will investigate the accident and file a report. It should include all of the information you need to file a claim or a case later. Your wellbeing, or that of others, takes priority.
What to do Right After an Accident
If no one is injured, move the vehicle(s) away from traffic, if it is possible and safe to do so. Then turn off the engine and turn on emergency flashers. You can deploy safety warning triangles if you have them and it is safe to put them out. Remember, people looking at an accident scene are often distracted and may not see you, even if you are standing in the road.
Try to Stay Calm and Safely Gather Information
Try to remain as calm as possible while you check on any passengers you may have, and or occupants of the other car(s). If possible, you should also gather details such as the make and model of the car, license plate number, auto insurance carrier, phone numbers, addresses of the people involved and or any witnesses or bystanders who might be able to speak to what happened before, during, and or after the accident.
Take Pictures if it’s Safe
If you have a smartphone, you may want to take as many photos as possible before any vehicles are moved. Be sure to remain vigilant and stay away from traffic. It is better to be without pictures than be injured by a passing driver distracted by the car wreck.
Be Polite and Watch What You Say
At all times, be sure to be cooperative and cordial, without admitting guilt or assigning blame. The scene of an accident is not the time or place to ferret out guilt or get into an altercation of any kind.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Once you have made sure you and others are safe, contacted the police, recorded any necessary information, and spoken to any responding officers, you need to report the accident to your insurance carrier.
Get Medical Attention
Even if you are not aware of it, you may have sustained injuries during the accident. After an accident, you should seek medical attention and be evaluated by a medical professional. Some injuries do not show up immediately, which is why you should be aware of the following signs and symptoms to watch out for.
Delayed Signs and Symptoms of an Injury
• Confusion, exaggerated sleepiness, concentration problems, or memory loss
• Nausea and or vomiting
• Abdominal pain and or swelling
• Changes in personality
• Neck and or back stiffness, pain or difficulty turning your head or moving your neck/shoulders/arms
• Numbness, tingling, or burning sensations
• Headaches that feel like your eyes are aching
• Swelling, bruises, pain when moving
• Loss of range of motion in any limb
Take Care of Yourself
After a car accident, you may also find that you feel stressed, anxious, or overly fatigued. Remember that a car wreck, even if it does not result in obvious injuries, is traumatic.
You may feel overwhelmed trying to deal with insurance carriers, vehicle repairs, medical providers, attorneys, or arranging transportation if your car has to have repairs.
Symptoms in Children
Try to rest as much as possible and pay attention to your personal needs and those of your children. Remember that symptoms in children may also show up as irritability or crankiness. They may not want to eat or move as much, or they may sleep more than is normal.
No matter if you think a child is injured or not, after a car wreck, always have them evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider as soon as possible. Your medical provider can advise you about any additional signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for. You should also try to reassure and comfort them as they may be traumatized by the car wreck. If appropriate, seek professional counseling to help them cope.
If you cannot pay for care, but need it after an accident, consider asking your attorney about a letter of protection (LOP). Click here for more information on how a LOP can help you receive the medical care and medications you need with no upfront costs or out of pocket expense. Click here
ASP Cares Helps People Injured in Accidents
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We understand how stressful and painful a car wreck can be. We proudly work with attorneys, insurance carriers, and others to provide rapid access to your accident related medications.
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• On-hand notary for affidavits
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ASP Cares: Big enough to serve. Small enough to care.
This content does not represent medical advice. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any condition. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified medical provider.