A car accident is traumatic, and it can leave you injured and in pain for weeks or months. You’re likely to be in shock immediately following the accident. Because of that, you may not be thinking logically. That’s why many people forget to do certain things or gather certain information. This can later cause them to lose their personal injury case or even be found at-fault for the accident. If you’re in a car wreck, it’s important you do some things at the scene before the other person left. Then you need to make sure you see a car accident doctor as soon as you can. Here are some of the basic things you need to make sure you do after a car accident.
Make Sure You and Your Passengers Are Safe
This is the most important thing to do right after the accident occurs. You want to make certain everyone is safe, turn off the car if you can, and get out of it if possible. If you move and feel any type of pain, you may want to remain where you are if it’s safe to do so. If it’s not, carefully get out of the vehicle or call for assistance if someone is nearby. If you’re in no immediate danger, you may want to wait for emergency medical services.
Call the Police and an Ambulance
You need to call the police for every accident, even if it’s fairly minor. This creates a police report that can be used in court and with insurance. If anyone involved is seriously injured, call 911. They will dispatch both the ambulance and the police. If there are no serious injuries and all vehicles are out of the street, you can call the non-emergency police line.
Gather as Much Information as You Can
Get the names and contact information of the other driver, any passengers in their car, and any witnesses. Take down the make, model, year, and license plate numbers of all the vehicles involved. Get the other driver’s insurance information. Thanks to most smartphones, taking photos at the scene has never been easier. Get photos of the scene from as many angles as you can, including close up images of the damage to each vehicle.
Be Careful What You Say
During all of this, be very careful about what you say. Don’t take responsibility for the accident, and don’t sign any paperwork unless it’s for the police. Admitting fault at the scene can be used in court later. Don’t even say, “I’m sorry” because that could be seen as admitting fault.
See Your Primary Care Physician
As soon as you can, call and schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Tell the person scheduling the appointment that you’ve been in an accident and would like to be seen as soon as possible. Your doctor may actually refer you to a specialist if they don’t feel like they can adequately determine the extent of your injuries. You may be sent to an orthopedic specialist, a car accident injury chiropractor, or other expert. Your doctor and any specialist you see will document your injuries, order tests, and work with you to determine a care plan.
The documentation and test results are going to play a major part in any insurance claim you make or personal injury case. You want to make certain you’re honest in what you say. Don’t exaggerate your pain, but also don’t downplay how much you hurt. Follow any medical instructions exactly. If your case goes to court, the other side will be looking for any reason to have your claim dismissed.
We’re Here to Help
If you’ve been in a car accident and are in need of a medical evaluation, Pro-Care Medical Centers can help. Our experts have years of experience in car accident care and understand what documentation is needed. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.