More than six million car accidents occur each year in the US alone. Luckily, most of these accidents only involve damage to property and no injuries to the occupants of the vehicles.
However, one-third of these accidents result in the injury of the driver and the passengers. It is sad that 20 percent of the injuries are fatal. If you have recently been in a car crash and have an auto accident injury, read here for details on all the different steps you should take next.
1. Stop and Protect the Scene
If you get involved in an auto accident, don’t just drive away and leave the scene even if it is a minor accident. To prevent further accidents, protect the scene by keeping your flashlights on and setting up fusee.
If your headlights damaged and it is dark, you can use a flashlight for your safety as you wait for help or the police in your damaged car or by the roadside.
2. Call the Police
The police must always know about all accidents no matter how minor they may be. This is because claiming insurance compensation for damaged cars or for personal injuries requires a police report.
Every one of the vehicles associated with the mishap should not move until the police arrive. They can only move or get moved if they are obstructing the road and causing a traffic jam.
Once the police arrive, you need to report to them as accurately as possible on how the accident occurred. Do not misstate, guess or speculate anything, and if you are asked whether you have some injuries, answer appropriately.
If you are not sure whether you have an accident injury, just say you are not sure. Make sure that the report given by other victims of the accident are also accurate and tally with your own statement.
3. Gather Evidence and Information
Since motor vehicle accidents involve the police and may end up in court and also given the fact that your insurance company will also get involved, try to gather as much evidence as you can.
If you have a camera or a phone, you can take pictures or record video of the vehicles to show the damages. You should also take photos of your own injuries if any.
If possible, the photos should be taken after the accident but in no way should you interfere with police investigations.
A police report number is usually provided to all drivers involved in an accident. This number is used by the drivers to obtain the accident report from the investigating officer. So you must ensure that you have that number.
For accidents that occur on state highways, this report can be obtained from state police. If the police fail to come to the scene, obtain the telephone numbers, addresses and names of all those involved in the mishap, plus the drivers and passengers.
Unless it is a personal injury car accident, you need to ask for the insurance card information for all the vehicles involved. Also, get information from the witnesses so that you can contact them later. Your attorney may also want to contact them later.
Ensure that all the information and documenAZAber plus the number of the adjuster, and receipts (if it was a rented vehicle). You also need to keep all the receipts for the expenses you incurred in connection with the accident.
4. Inform Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company should know as soon as possible when you are injured from a car accident or if your vehicle is damaged because some policies require prompt reporting. You need to cooperate will them by providing them will all the information they need.
If you have been paying Medpay then it means your insurance has medical benefits and its a requirement to submit all the medical bills related to the accident to your insurance company.
Medpay is an extra payment that specifically covers medical bills related to motor vehicle accidents and it covers all passengers. Once it is exhausted, the private medical insurer takes over.
5. Seek Medical Attention
Oftentimes, injury after a car accident is not instantly apparent. Many of those who get involved in such accidents report feeling pain after a day or two. As a rule, you should go for medical check-up after an accident whether you are feeling pain or not. You can’t be absolutely sure that you are well.
The are many types of injuries that you can get after a motor vehicle accident. The common ones range from minor injuries like scratches to major ones like broken bones, spinal injuries, soft tissue injuries, burn injuries, neck and back injuries, and head and brain injuries.
You can also get a herniated disc from a car accident which will make you feel some intense pain in your leg or arm and some tingling or numbness of your body in the parts that the affected nerves serve. After an accident, you may lose your consciousness if you suffered closed head injury or a concussion.
In such a case it will be upon well-wishers or your family members to rush you to hospital and then follow up your case. This is also the case if your auto accident injury is so fatal that you have to remain unconscious for a very long time.
Protect Yourself After an Auto Accident Injury
You are now aware of what to do after a car accident injury, but as you deal with the police, the insurance company and the treatment, don’t forget about your attorney. In fact, your attorney should be among the first people to contact so he can guide you along the way.
You may not be familiar with the laws governing auto accident injury and it is only your attorney who can come to your aid. For example, the insurance companies need reports immediately after the accident and it is your attorney that can help you compile such a report.
Your attorney will also ensure that you get all the compensations due to you and also that you get the best medical attention. You can visit our blog to read more about motor vehicle accidents and the steps to take after such a misfortune.