What To Do After A Car Accident: Step By Step
Car accidents kill more than 35,000 people in the United States each year, with roughly one death reported every 12 minutes. This is a scary number, but what’s equally scary are all the cases that never get mentioned in these type of statistics. Many people are left injured, potentially to the point that your daily life is affected. There is also a financial toll to this as well. To minimize the issue, there are certain steps you can take to handle things after an accident.
The Accident Scene
In a minor accident, you may be able to get away with simply taking notes and pictures of the scene yourself, but the moment that there is potential for injury or any sort of severe damage to the vehicle, you need to call the police.
You will want to get the information of everyone involved in the accident, including potential witnesses. Be very careful about what you say regarding the accident itself. For example, a simple apology may be taken as an admission of fault, which may come back to haunt you. However, being cordial and cooperative with the attending officer is always ideal. In general, apply common sense and courtesy following the accident.
Take Care of Your Body And Mind
Even if your accident is minor and you feel fine at first, it always pays to be cautious and see a doctor after a car accident. Why bother? Adrenaline at the scene of the accident may block out the pain from injuries you have at first. It is tempting to try and push yourself to get back to your normal life, but if you overexert yourself, you risk making your situation worse. However, if you want to accompany your recovery, keeping regularly hydrated and not being afraid to rest are key things you can do.
Another thing that shouldn’t be ignored is the potential for a car accident to affect your mental health. Up to 30% of people may have some form of “negative psychological response” to a severe road crash. This can range from disrupted sleep and anxiety to full-blown PTSD. Don’t be afraid to lean on loved ones for help and practice self-care. If things worsen, see a therapist or other mental health professional.
Over the course of your medical treatment, you should also be ready to document things. This includes treatments, medications, and other things that are harder to prove, like pain or suffering. Be ready to list workdays missed due to the accident, or other parts of your life that are affected. These are key if you decide to pursue legal action, and are good practice in general if you are in an accident of any kind.
In a minor accident where insurance covers any damages and you are physically unaffected, there may not be any need for legal compensation. However, medical expenses pile up, work days missed may put a burden on your savings. In some cases, your lifestyle may be permanently altered. If this fits your situation, you may be able to get financial compensation for your accident. The first step will be bringing on a skilled car accident lawyer, like at the following link: noll-law.com/personal-injury/car-accidents/. What makes for a good car accident lawyer, you may ask? Well generally, this boils down to expertise, but any professional will try to demonstrate that. The best way to figure this out when you search is to just employ good consumer practices.
Start by looking for reviews from people you know or that you consider to be authorities in the area. Following that, look to reviews from others. Finally, when you’ve narrowed the field, try to schedule consultations to get some face-to-face time before making a final decision.
Not only will they be necessary for going through the legal proceedings, but will also help you determine if you have enough of a case. This may depend on whether you can prove both fault for the accident and hardship from it, which is why some of the steps we mentioned earlier are so important. Don’t feel that you have to suffer in silence, as while you may not have control of what led to your accident, you can control what happens next.