More than six million car accidents occur in the United States every year. Many of them only involve superficial property damage, but it is still a jarring, emotionally taxing experience to go through.
But what if you suffer an injury? Do you know how to protect yourself and receive the medical attention you need? If you happen to get injured in a crash, the key is to remain calm and follow a few simple steps to ensure your own safety.
Seek Medical Help
In case of an accident, your most important priority should be your own health. Self-diagnosing injuries is a difficult thing to do as well after an accident; when you combine whiplash with the adrenaline and emotional strain that can come from a crash, it can be difficult to even tell what’s hurting. The easiest route is by dialing 911. The operator has access to all the resources you might need and is trained to help you through the situation.
In many accidents, the passengers refuse medical attention. They might believe the injuries they suffered are minor. However, it’s common for injuries suffered in jarring collisions to become more severe in a short time frame. It’s almost a shock to the system – your body isn’t even sure what’s wrong yet.
From a legal perspective, getting medical attention early is an advantage. The earlier your injuries are documented, the better it is for any claims you might need to make.
Take Notes and Photos
If you’re able, taking notes and collecting visual evidence of the collision is extremely helpful. You’ll want photos of the damage to your car, the scene of the collision, as well as the damage to any other vehicles in a collision.
As for information you ought to record, you’ll want names and contact information of all people involved in the collision, the make, model, and year of the vehicles involved, driver’s license and license plate details, and insurance company names and policy numbers for all individuals involved. Getting the name and badge number of the policemen involved is a good idea as well.
Make sure you take note of any medical treatment you receive so that you may receive reimbursement from your insurance company. Keep any receipts or documents that you might receive and store them in a safe place.
File an Insurance Claim
Make sure you let your insurance know what exactly happened and the extent of your injuries. Some insurance companies allow you to file a claim online, but it’s generally easier to call and talk to someone who can guide you through the process – especially after something as emotionally taxing as a car accident. Be as honest as you can and keep your information short and simple.
When in Doubt, Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
Ideally, a personal injury lawyer is never even necessary. But when it comes to property damage, insurance, and personal injury, a lot can go wrong.
At the first sign of trouble – or even if you simply want peace of mind – talk to a lawyer. They can provide you with further guidance in protecting your rights and health while also advising you if someone involved in the crash is wronging you. Car accidents are stressful enough; a lawyer can help clarify the details and defend you throughout the process.
No one wants to be in a car accident, but they happen more frequently than you might think. It’s always a jarring experience that can skew a person’s judgement. But by starting with your own health and taking it one step at a time, you can protect your health, your property, and your money.
Alex Briggs is a contributing author for ‘Maggio Thompson Personal Injury Attorneys.