Every year, there are more than 2 million Americans taken to the hospital for injuries sustained during car accidents. Collectively, they spend more than 1 million days in the hospital recovering from these injuries.
If you’re ever injured in a car accident, it can be a very scary experience. Regardless of whether you sustain minor injuries that require a few stitches at most or major ones that take you off your feet for weeks, it can be traumatic.
You should always attempt to keep your cool right after a car accident, though, so that you can take the right steps and protect yourself and others. Here are 10 things you need to do when you’re injured in a car accident.
1. Stop Driving
This should almost go without saying, but if you’re ever injured in a car accident, you should pull your car over right away.
You could get yourself into big trouble if you leave the scene of an accident. You can also make it tough for police to figure out what happened if you continue to drive for a little while before pulling over.
And of course, you could potentially make your injuries worse by getting into another accident. The smart thing is to stop and shut your vehicle right off.
2. Assess Your Injuries
Once you’ve stopped driving your car and shut it off, you should give yourself a quick once-over to see what you injured.
In the seconds and even minutes after an accident, you’ll have so much adrenaline coursing through your veins that you might not feel any pain associated with your injuries. But you’ll be able to get some sense of what you hurt when you check out your arms, legs, head, and other body parts.
3. Check on Your Passengers
Were there other people driving with you at the time of your accident? Check on them and see if they sustained any injuries as well.
You may have escaped from the accident unscathed, but someone else might have suffered an injury that requires extensive medical treatment. It all depends on what kind of accident took place.
4. Get Out of Your Car
After you’ve checked out your own injuries and spoken with your passengers about any injuries they sustained, you should make every effort to safely get out of your car.
If the accident you were in was bad enough, it could lead to your car catching on fire and even blowing up. You and your passengers should do what you can to climb out of the car and make your way to a safe space.
5. Call the Police
More often than not, other drivers will call the police after witnessing you get into an accident. But just to be sure, you should contact the police as soon as you can as well.
If you or someone else requires immediate medical attention, let the police know that you need a paramedic sent out to the scene. It should only take police officers and paramedics a few short minutes to make their way to your location.
6. Provide Statements
If you need to visit a hospital to have an injury checked out right away, police will wait until later to take a statement from you. But if you’re able to put off a hospital trip for a little bit, they’ll question you on the scene as far as what happened during your accident.
You should tell your side of the story without ever admitting guilt. If you say that an accident was your fault, it could come back to bite you later and make your life more difficult than it has to be.
7. Exchange Insurance Information
You’re going to need to call your auto insurance company following your accident to let them know what happened. But before you do that, exchange insurance information with any other drivers involved in the crash.
Your insurance company is going to need this information to start processing your claim. You should have the names of the other drivers, their insurance companies, and their insurance ID numbers handy.
8. Call Your Auto Insurance Company
Once you’ve gathered the right information, reach out to your auto insurance company and tell them you were in an accident. They’ll take a statement from you and help you get your car towed from the scene. They can have it taken to an auto repair shop to get fixed up.
9. Go to the Hospital
At this point, you should have already gone to the hospital if you sustained bad injuries in your car accident. But if your injuries are on the minor side, you should still make it a point to get yourself checked out.
You might look and feel just fine now. But there are some back and neck issues that can pop up over time. It’s best to have a doctor look you over to see if there is anything you need to worry about.
10. Contact a Lawyer
In a perfect world, your auto insurance company will cover the damages done to your car and any medical bills that you rack up as a result of your accident. But this isn’t always the case.
If you find that your auto insurance company is giving you the run-around, call a car accident lawyer to see if you might be able to file a lawsuit. You could receive a large settlement in connection to your car accident.
Don’t Panic When You’re Injured in a Car Accident
Whatever you do, do not panic if you’re ever injured in a car accident. Even though it can be a stressful situation, stay calm and work your way through the steps listed here.
By doing this, you’ll ensure that you get the treatment you need and the money you deserve. You’ll be able to move on with your life one day without the car accident causing you any major issues.
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