Accidents happen every second of the day. Though the hope is that you’re never involved in one, the reality is, it could happen to anyone. Most people have a pretty good idea of what to do immediately following an accident. You contact the authorities and medical assistance, exchange information with the other drivers, take photos of the scene, and wait to file a report. However, once the initial steps are completed, most aren’t aware of what to do next. As time is of the essence following a car accident, here is a list of suggested steps to take:
Seek Medical Attention
Nerves, adrenaline, and even fear can cause those involved in an accident to feel there is no need to go to the hospital. They refuse medical treatment on the scene and carry on with their day. The only problem with this is, that after being in an accident, you never know what could be going on with your body. You could have internal damage that you’re unable to see or muscle or nerve damage that doesn’t start affecting you until hours or days later. So, it is best to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to be on the safe side.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
Whether you believe you were at-fault or not, it is imperative that you reach out to your insurance provider to file a claim. Provide them with specific details on the events as they occurred, give them the contact and insurance information you have for the other driver, and provide them with a copy of the police report. If your car was damaged or totaled, depending on the type of insurance coverage you have, you may be entitled to have the repairs done and/or receive funds towards purchasing a new car. Be sure to check in with your insurance provider on a regular basis until they have completed all steps in the claims process.
Shop for a Mechanic or New Car
If you were not the party at fault or if you are in possession of vehicle insurance repairs, which might entitle you to free repairs and/or funds towards a new car, now would be the time to start that process. Find out from your insurance provider how much money you have towards damages (or a new vehicle), and whether or not you have to use certain dealerships or mechanics. If you have to find a mechanic within their network, simply ask for a list of providers in the area and make an appointment to get an estimate. If you will, however, be getting funds towards a new car, you can use platforms like copilot car finder to look for deals on vehicles in your area.
Consult an Attorney
If you were not at fault and you sustained a lot of injuries or incurred a lot of expenses as a result of the car accident consulting an attorney may be recommended. A personal injury attorney can listen to your story and decide whether or not you have a case. If you do, you could be compensated for everything from your medical expenses and car repairs to lost wages from work and pain and suffering. This will not change the course of events following the accident, but it can help you to get through without financial stress. The best part is may personal injury attorneys will work on a contingency fee meaning you don’t have to pay anything upfront. Often in cases involving heavy-duty vehicles such as a collision with an 18-wheeler, the damage could be really expensive, beyond just the injuries involved, the cost of which could fall on you. This is where having a good attorney could really save your skin.
Heal Physically and Mentally
A car accident is a very traumatic experience that can have both physical and emotional effects on you. If you’ve suffered injuries, follow the doctor’s orders and take the time necessary to heal. If you haven’t suffered physical injuries but find that you feel emotionally down or overwhelmed, talking with a therapist is recommended. A therapist can assist you in getting through the traumatic experience and overcoming any feelings of anxiety. Along with following the doctor’s orders and going for therapy, you should also be eating a well-balanced diet and exercising (as allowed) to improve your mental and physical health following an accident.
Accidents happen every day. When in the midst of the accident, it can be hard to discern what to do or what steps to take next. That’s why it is ideal to educate yourself on what to do immediately after and the days following the accident. Taking the steps provided above are essential for getting you back on your feet physically and mentally.