Whether you were the driver or the passenger in a car accident, it is important that you take care of yourself and be diligent about documenting the entire process. In many cases, you may have small injuries that will need medical attention. However, in some cases, injuries can be more severe and a car accident injury chiropractor can help in either situation. When you’ve been in a car accident and plan to use your car insurance and possibly even pursue a personal injury claim then you will need thorough documentation.
Here are four common mistakes to avoid after a car accident.
1. Don’t skip calling the police!
You might be tempted to say, “It’s just a scratch,” or defer to being polite and tell the other driver “it’s no big deal”. However, if you end up wanting to use insurance to cover your car accident injuries then you will want to have a record that the accident occurred. Calling the police to report an accident does not mean you are admitting fault or tattling on the other person. Think of it as the first step in collecting necessary information so that your care with a car accident doctor will be covered.
2. Don’t turn down medical assistance at the scene!
Another common phrase you may be tempted to say is “I’m fine” at the scene. The truth is, when you’ve been in an accident, no matter how small, your adrenaline is pumping through your body and you might even be a bit disoriented or even in shock. A car accident is a stressful experience and you might not be able to fully understand or acknowledge the extent of your injuries because of all the distractions. If an ambulance is called to the scene, you should never skip the medical attention at the scene.
If paramedics arrive at the scene then there will be documentation and the last thing you want is to say “I’m fine” and tell them you don’t need their help, only to turn around a few days later and seek out treatment from a car accident injury chiropractor. In order to fully legitimize your experience and your injuries, allow the paramedics to assess you and follow through on their recommendations. If you are taken to the emergency room or it is suggested that you visit an urgent care center, take their advice and then seek out a car accident injury chiropractor for more thorough follow-up care.
3. Don’t forget to take pictures at the scene!
In all the stress and chaos at the scene, it can be difficult to keep track of what you should do to protect yourself and help support a future claim for your accident injuries. However, one of the easiest tools you have to help with documentation is likely right in your pocket: your cell phone! While waiting for the police or while they write their report, take photos of the accident in case you need them for evidence down the road. Photos can also be very beneficial for documenting any injuries as well!
If you have any scrapes or bruises you should document those as soon as possible. Any visible injuries can be documented in photos and help a future claim. Because many car accident injuries involve the spine, you may not be able to fully document what is going on with you physically and internally. However, having photos of the accident will help provide clarity for how you may have sustained your injuries, like if the airbags deployed or there is significant damage to the structure of the car.
4. Don’t wait too long to follow up with an accident doctor!
If you want to use insurance to cover all your car accident treatment or plan to file any type of claim or lawsuit then it is especially important that you follow up with a car accident injury chiropractor as soon as possible after the accident. When you see a doctor who works with car accident injuries regularly, they will be able to thoroughly document your medical information from the diagnosis and imaging tools used to the treatment plan and requirements for care. In the event that you file a claim, your doctor will be able to verify your injuries.
Not only is going to the doctor right away important for documentation and evidence purposes, but it is also the best option for you medically. Seeking out treatment right away is important because your doctor can diagnose your injuries and develop a treatment plan that will get you on the road to recovery. When it comes to car accident injuries, you may feel pain and discomfort for days or weeks depending on the type of injury. A car accident injury chiropractor will help develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses your specific injuries and your unique needs.