As much as you might like to drive and as careful as you might be on the road, accidents can happen without warning and in the blink of an eye.
In the aftermath of surviving a car accident, it’s easy to be extremely shaken, confused, disoriented, scared, and angry. You might be asking yourself a thousand questions, wondering what happened, why it happened, and maybe what could have been done differently. It can be a confusing time, but after an accident, you need to know what to do.
So what should you do after an accident? Following these steps can be a big help:
Make Sure Everyone Is Safe
Surviving a car accident can be a harrowing experience, but one of the first things you need to do is to make sure all parties involved are ok. Whether you’re at fault for the accident or not, you need to check on everyone. If you or anyone else is injured, you need to call the police right away and let them know medical assistance is required. No matter what the situation is, you need to call the police because, most times, insurance companies won’t cover accident damage as part of your automotive insurance plan without a police report.
After surviving a car accident, you need to ask questions, as many as you might need to. When you go to your insurance company, they’re going to need as much information as possible to help you file a claim. So at the scene of the accident, get names, addresses, phone numbers, and take notes if you need to. Make sure that no detail goes unnoticed or no question goes unasked. The more information you have, the better off you’ll be.
In the aftermath of a car accident, you need to keep all information together in one spot. That information includes any pictures or notes you take at the scene of the accident, your insurance claim number, the claims adjuster who’s handling your case, any information on contacts you have, rental car receipts and any other pertinent information. By having it all together, it’s easy to find and easy to make sure nothing is overlooked.
Consider Legal Representation
It’s important to remember that after surviving a car accident, you are in no way required to consult a lawyer or an attorney. But it’s also important to understand that consulting an automobile injury attorney or an accident lawyer can be very beneficial. Why? If you have been injured in an accident and you have a strong claim to take legal action, a lawyer can help you through the entire process. Let’s face it, if you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, your life as you know it, may be altered permanently.
If you’ve seen lawyer ads on TV, you know that people seek legal help after car accidents all the time. With an accident injury attorney in your corner, you can ensure that you’re got reputable legal representation while you focus your time and attention on recovery. After a car accident, your initial instinct might be to try and negotiate with an insurance company and settle. That’s not a wise move and a lawyer will help you collect any damages you may be eligible for and you may be compensated for:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Punitive damages
- Loss in your quality of life
- A reduction in your earning capacity
If you are going to seek legal help, remember that each state has a different statute of limitations that effects how long you have to file a claim from an accident.
Dealing with Bail Bonds
Something as simple as driving under the influence or taking your eyes off the road can quickly lead to a car accident. If an arrest is made at the scene of accident, it needs to be addressed so that a defendant can get out of jail quickly. In the event, that someone needs to make bail, but cannot afford it, quick bail bonds are usually available.
Try looking into a local bail bond agency to help pay the necessary funds. They can also offer you legal advice should you ask.
Dealing with Injuries
It’s estimated that about 7,000 people are hurt every day in a car accident and the reality of things is that injuries from car accidents can vary. Regardless of the severity of your accident, you need to get yourself checked out. Even if you feel fine in the immediate aftermath, there may be a problem that’s not immediately obvious. You might be very lucky in surviving a car accident with a few cuts and scrapes or you might have more serious injuries that required a prolonged hospital stay. Some of the most common injuries can include:
Head and Brain Injuries
During a collision, many drivers are susceptible to head injuries because they hit the windows or the windshield or the steering wheel or even other people. As a result, many accident victims get concussions. If you have concussion symptoms such as neck pain, headache, and nausea, you need to get checked out by a health care professional. Concussion recovery varies from person to person and you can’t just assume your symptoms will simply go away.
Part of surviving a car accident and sustaining injuries including facial injuries, which may occur from hitting an airbag or a steering wheel or a foreign object.
Cuts or minor scrapes may require nothing more than stitches or bandages. But for more serious injuries, you might need surgery and time to heal.
- Let’s say for example that you break your nose in an accident. If that happens, you might need a rhinoplasty surgery. It’s true that rhinoplasty can fix your nose, but it can also have many other benefits:
- It can help improve your breathing.
- It can help you if you have a deviated septum.
- It can have a very positive effect on the look of your face, especially if it’s severely affected by an accident.
- It can increase or decrease the size of the nostrils and even give you a new shape if necessary.
In the midst of surviving a car accident, you might sustain an injury to your neck. In fact, one of the most common injuries from a car accident is whiplash. While mild neck strain can usually be treated with everyday pain relievers, some injuries can be more severe such as a dislocation of your vertebrae, also known as the bones of your spine.
So what can you do if you have whiplash or a more severe neck injury? The best thing to do is visit a spine doctor. Visiting a spine surgeon can have many benefits, including giving you a diagnosis as well as an expert opinion on the severity of your injury:
- In addition to offering comprehensive surgery options, spine doctors can also offer minimally invasive treatments or non-surgical options.
- A doctor can also help you by offering resources, such as access to physical therapy or chiropractors.
- Spine doctors can also help improve your quality of life, especially if you’ve experienced unbearable pain after surviving a car accident.
- Whether you need help for spine or possibly your back, a doctor can improve your overall health as well and help you get back on your feet after an injury.
If you sustain a facial injury during a car accident, chances are good you’re going to have something happen to your teeth. It may be a chip or a crack or you may end up losing a few teeth. When that happens, you need to pay a visit to a cosmetic dentist.
If you’re never been to a cosmetic dentist, you’re in for a treat. If your teeth have been affected, a dentist can:
- It can replace or fix broken or cracked teeth.
- It can strengthen your teeth and help protect you against future damage.
- It can give you a confidence boost, especially if your teeth have been badly affected.
- It can help straighten and align your teeth.
Since car accidents can happen without warning, it’s hard to say what kind of injuries can happen and how severe they might be. You may have injuries to your legs or arms or ears or even psychological injuries.
If you’re afraid your hearing has been affected after surviving a car accident, your best bet is to visit an audiologist. An audiologist can give you a full hearing test and check your ear and hearing health. Simply put, they’ll be able to diagnose any lingering or ongoing issues and offer options for treatment if you need it.
Getting a New Car
One unintended consequence of surviving a car accident is the (likely) need to get a new car. If you’re in a serious accident, there’s a good chance your vehicle is totaled and you’re in need of a new set of wheels.
But buying a new car isn’t just grabbing a new set of keys and driving away. Buying a new car requires research, looking into various financial aspects and looking around for the right car for you.
So before you visit a local auto dealer to purchase a new car, here are some tips to finding the perfect ride:
Think About What You Want
A good place is to start with car buying is to think about what you liked and disliked about your last vehicle. If you’re looking for something specific, like good fuel economy or lots of space, this will help you as you go forward with your search.
Do Some Research
As you search for a new car, don’t shy away from seeking out expert opinions. You can find plenty of reliable customer reviews from experts and customers alike. You can also find comparison tests and even review videos so you can get the skinny on any vehicle you’re interested in.
Know What You Can Afford
One important part of getting a new vehicle is knowing what you can afford. Before you sign on the dotted line, you need to figure out what you can afford to pay as a down payment as well as what you can afford per month. If you’re on a budget, buying a used car might be the way to go.
Look Into Financing
Before you pull up at a dealership, you need to have financing in place. Visit a bank or one of your local credit unions and apply for a loan.
Be Ready For Negotiation
By applying for a loan, doing some research, and knowing a fair price range for the vehicle you’re looking at, you’ll be ready to walk into a dealership and negotiate with a dealer. If you happen to have cash in hand to buy a car, the dealer might even cut you a deal for less than the original asking price.
Take Care of Your Car
No one wants to get into an accident, but they happen all the time. While you can’t necessarily account for the behavior of other drivers, but you can take care of you and your car.
That means being alert on the road; not driving when you’re tired and not getting distracted. When it comes to your car, that means getting regular fluid checks, rotating your tires—it’s recommended that you do so every 3,000 to 7,000 miles—checking on the condition of your tires and generally making sure your vehicle is safe for the road. By driving smart, driving alert and staying safe, you keep others safe.
Knowing what to do in the event of a car accident is important. By gathering information at the scene of the accident, you’ll have all the information you need to file an insurance claim and seek legal representation if you so choose. If you’re injured in the event of an accident—and a legal claim awards damages to cover your injuries—take time and visit specialists to deal with your injuries. By visiting a spine doctor, or a head and neck specialist or a cosmetic dentist, these professionals can address your injuries, offer treatment options and help improve your quality of life.