Car Accident Injuries. What You Should Know

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience. Knowing the appropriate steps to take immediately after an accident can help protect your health, legal rights, and financial interests. Here is a detailed guide on what to do if you are injured in a car accident.

Immediate Actions at the Scene

  • Ensure Safety. The first priority is to ensure your safety and the safety of others involved. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location away from traffic. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.
  • Check for Injuries. Assess yourself and others for injuries. Even if injuries seem minor, it is important to seek medical attention, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
  • Call Emergency Services. Dial 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance if needed. Provide the dispatcher with accurate information about the location and the severity of the injuries.
  • Stay Calm and Composed. It is natural to feel shaken, but staying calm will help you think clearly and take the necessary steps. Avoid arguing or admitting fault at the scene.

Gathering Information

  • Exchange Information. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s). This includes names, phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance details.
  • Document the Scene. Take photos and videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, road conditions, traffic signs, and any visible injuries. These can be invaluable for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  • Collect Witness Information. If there are witnesses, gather their names and contact information. Witness statements can be important in establishing the facts of the accident.

Medical Attention

  • Seek Immediate Medical Care. Even if you feel fine, it is important to get a medical evaluation as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal injuries, may not show symptoms immediately but can have serious consequences if left untreated.
  • Follow Medical Advice. Adhere to the treatment plan prescribed by your healthcare provider. Keep all medical records, including diagnoses, treatment plans, and receipts for medical expenses.

Reporting and Legal Steps

  • Notify Your Insurance Company. Report the accident to your insurance company promptly. Provide them with all relevant information and documentation. Be honest and accurate in your account of the accident.
  • File a Police Report. Obtain a copy of the police report, as it can be critical evidence in insurance claims and legal actions. The report typically contains details about the accident and the responding officer’s assessment.
  • Consult an Attorney. If you are injured, consider consulting a personal injury attorney. They can help you understand your legal rights, negotiate with insurance companies, and pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
  • Keep Detailed Records. Maintain detailed records of all accident-related expenses, including medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and any other costs incurred due to the accident. This documentation will be essential for insurance claims and potential legal actions.
  • Avoid Social Media. Refrain from discussing the accident or your injuries on social media. Insurance companies and opposing parties may use your posts against you.
  • Monitor Your Health. Continue to monitor your health and follow up with medical professionals as needed. Document any changes in your condition and any ongoing symptoms.

Being involved in a car accident can have lasting physical, emotional, and financial impacts. By following these steps, you can help ensure your safety, protect your legal rights, and support your recovery process. Taking immediate and thoughtful actions after an accident can significantly influence the outcome of your insurance claims and any potential legal proceedings, ultimately aiding in your path to recovery.

At Barber & Associates, we work with the victims of car accident injuries to protect their rights and ensure they are compensated.  Give us a call today to discuss your case.