Car accidents happen every day. Most of them are fender-benders, but many are serious enough to leave the motorists involved injured. Indeed, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 2.4 million people were hurt in auto crashes in 2015, often requiring hospitalization. That’s a 4 percent increase from the previous year.
Both emotionally and physically rattled, car accident sufferers can find it difficult to focus on the next steps, especially if it’s the first time they’ve been in a collision. Adding to the confusion is determining who is to blame and injury severity.
Should you ever be involved in crash that results in injury, the following information can help you navigate the “what now.”
Listen to your body
When you’re hurt in a crash, your body tells you pretty quickly, whether it’s a sharp pain in your neck or a dull ache in your back. Be receptive to your symptoms so you can explain how you feel to the doctor. Your symptoms may change, but it’s important to reference the first one you experienced so your primary or emergency care physician can order the appropriate tests.
Make phone calls
Who should get the first call: your insurance company or the police? If your injuries are serious, neither. Your first call should be to 9-1-1 so emergency personnel can be dispatched. Furthermore, as DMV.org noted, this step will enhance your injury claim, especially if you pursue legal recourse. After that, police as well as your insurer should be contacted so they’re aware of the situation.
If the accident involved one or several other motorists, exchange basic contact details with them to begin the claims process. In addition to getting the other drivers’ names, insurance and contact specifics, take photographs of the automobile(s) and observable injuries. This action will help expedite the claims process and provide corroborating evidence for why medical treatment was necessary.