By their very nature, car accidents are unpredictable and unexpected. Once a crash has happened, it is normal for you to feel confused. Still, there are a few things you can do immediately following a car accident which will help you to more easily protect your health, file your claims, and negotiate with insurance companies.
It may be a good idea to become familiar with these recommendations, so that should you ever need to recover from a car accident you are ready.
6 Things to Do After a Car Accident
- Make sure everyone is ok and safe: First and foremost, make sure that you and your passengers are safe and unharmed. If it is possible to move the car off the road and out of the way of traffic, do so. However, if the car cannot move, get yourself to a safe distance if at all possible. Keep in mind – immediately following an accident, most people have adrenaline running through their bloodstream. Adrenaline can mask pain in the short term, so be sure to be checked out soon after the accident by a physician or chiropractor to rule out any injury. Be sure to keep all diagnosis and prognosis paperwork, as well as to record the dates of your visits and treatments.
- Call emergency services and police: It is typically prudent to call the police to take a report for any accident. You may think the accident minor, but the other party may sue you later on. Having an official report of the accident, the conditions and the facts surrounding the incident on file will help to back your story should something arise in the future. Be sure to ask the officers how to obtain a copy of the report for your records. Also, although many people don’t want to be transported for medical care, it is better to be checked out if there is any chance of serious injury.
- Take photos: Once you know that you are ok, take as many photos of the scene as you can. There are a number of photos which could be very useful for an insurance claim or lawsuit. In addition to taking photos of any vehicles involved, you may wish to record the surrounding area, any signs or signals which may have contributed (or prevented) the accident, skid marks, and other aggravating factors such as potholes or wet conditions.
- Get insurance information, but nothing else: If you can speak to the other parties to the accident and get their contact and insurance information, go ahead and do so. However, it is important not to discuss the accident at all with anyone on the scene. Although it seems natural to do, even saying “I’m sorry” can later work against you when establishing fault.
- Ask witnesses for contact information: If anyone is present who was a third party viewer to the accident, ask them if they would mind providing contact information so the authorities can obtain a statement from them later on.
- Stay off of social media: People may not think twice about posting photos and status about what they just experienced. However, even a single post saying “I’m okay” can significantly affect your ability to claim injury later. This is especially problematic because many of the injuries that are common after a car accident – such as whiplash or concussions – often don’t manifest for several days.
One of the best things you can do to protect your health after a car accident is to set up an appointment with a chiropractor. When the body suffers trauma, the spine can become misaligned – and if not dealt with in a timely manner, can become inflamed and cause more damage.
If you have experienced a car accident recently, call West Coast Wellness today for a consultation.