Car accidents can be scary, especially if you’re injured in any way. There are probably plenty of things running through your mind at the time of an accident, but don’t let figuring out your next step overwhelm you. Read on for some tips for how to proceed both while you are at the scene and in the days and weeks that follow.
Make Sure You’re Okay
Were you hurt in your accident? Even if you just lightly hit your head on the dashboard, it may be worth seeking medical assistance. You don’t want to run the risk of ignoring a potentially dangerous injury. Even before an ambulance arrives, you can quickly check your body for cuts, scrapes, or worse. If you are okay, then check on your passengers and whoever was in the other car. If you notice any injuries, be sure to report them to the emergency medical technicians as soon as they appear on the scene.
Work With the Authorities
One of the most important things you can do when you’re in a car accident is to cooperate with the police who come to your aid. Make sure someone calls 911 as soon as possible, then wait patiently for help to arrive. Not only will the police help to make sure everyone is okay, but they will also direct traffic around you, minimizing the risk of an additional accident piling on top of yours. As a crucial part of their process, the police will work on figuring out exactly what happened, like determining fault in a left turn accident. If they find you are blameless, then you can consider hiring an attorney if you think it necessary.
Consider Seeking Counsel
If you feel your bills are going to be too steep or think your medical woes are far from over, an attorney may be able to help! As an innocent victim, you are well within your rights to make sure your insurance or that of the guilty driver comes through. Do your research and make sure you find an attorney who specializes in your type of claim. Be prepared for this process to be lengthy, though, as it can take a good deal of time to gather all of the appropriate documentation to build a good case.
Reach Out for Help
A common side effect of being in a car accident is having nightmares or some form of post-traumatic stress disorder. If you find yourself being nervous to enter a car or cross the street, or if you’re even just having bad dreams more often than usual, tell someone. It doesn’t matter if you reach out to your roommate, parents, or spouse, or if you decide to call a therapist; just make sure you don’t keep all of these thoughts and emotions to yourself. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and you’d be surprised how often the two intersect.
Although car accidents can be life-altering, there’s no need to feel helpless. If you’re in an accident, make sure everyone is okay, cooperate with the police, seek counsel, and talk to someone.