Being involved in a car accident can be a terrifying experience. Things can get even more complicated and frightening if you've been injured in the accident. It can be hard to know what the right course of action is or what you need to be doing to deal with the other parties' actions. The following will explore some of the things you need to be conscious of after being injured in a car accident.
Seek Medical Attention
Whether you feel like you've been seriously injured or not, it is always best to make sure you get medical attention as soon as possible. Things like shock can reduce your ability to sense injuries and damage done to your body. Just because you can't feel any pain doesn't mean you're not hurt.
List All Symptoms
When visiting the doctor, you also want to make sure that you bring up any and all symptoms, even if they feel unreleased. Injuries can sometimes manifest in strange ways, and a doctor should be given as much information as possible so they can help reduce the risk of long-term pain or injuries that take a long time to recover from. Something mild, like a little neck pain after a car accident, can turn into a several-month-long injury if it's not taken care of. Make sure to follow doctor recommendations even if you feel fine for the same reasons.
Speaking To The Other Party
If there were other people involved in the accident, you'll want to exchange personal information with them, including license plate numbers, driver's license numbers, names, and insurance company policy numbers. Beyond this, you want to avoid talking too much to the other party. This is because, after an accident, emotions and tensions are running high, and you don't want to say something that could later get you in trouble. This can be hard, but save your venting for friends and family at home.
Collect Other Information
You might also want to take photographs or videos of the scene of the accident. This includes wide shots that capture the entire scene and close-ups of each individual item involved. An attorney or insurance company might later want this information. Make sure not to give it to an insurance company employee without speaking to an attorney first. Keep a copy of your medical bills and receipts related in any way to the accident as well.
Stay Off Social Media
This one should go without saying, but unfortunately, it doesn't. Again, after you've been injured in an accident, tensions and emotions are running high. Social media is not the right outlet for these feelings. Anything you post, comment, like, or share can be used against you in a legal proceeding. Something as simple as liking a photo of your friend's cat could be construed as you not being as injured as you claim. Stay off social media altogether until the accident is resolved unless otherwise advised by your lawyer.
Reach Out To An Attorney
Before you speak to a member of your (or the other party's) insurance team, reach out to an attorney. You'reYou're looking for someone who specializes in law pertaining to personal injury and car accidents, as well as someone who practices in the state where the accident occurred. Lawyers tend to have free consultations where they can walk you through the different options you have available to you. Insurance companies are quite good at making you feel like you have only one choice, but this is almost never the case.
Don't Neglect Your Mental Health
With so much going on, it can be easy to chalk up your feelings to stress or confusion, but this isn't always the case. It turns out that car accidents are the number one cause of post-traumatic stress disorder in the United States. If you're struggling with things like getting back behind the wheel, getting in a car at all, invasive nightmares or flashbacks, or anything else emotionally and mentally disruptive, reach out to a mental health professional. There is no shame in being a little shaken up after something so shocking. In fact, it's completely normal. Reaching out for help early can sometimes result in faster recovery times.
The above steps should help you get things organized after experiencing a car accident where an injury was sustained. Of course, these steps are far easier said than done. It is completely okay to ask for help with any of the above tasks from friends, family members, healthcare professionals, or legal advisors.