Critical Steps to Take After a Car Wreck
Car wrecks can happen very quickly, when you least expect it, and usually during the most important moments of your life. You are late for work, running behind schedule, or you are responding to a family emergency. Many people don’t realize that it is better to be late and not get in an accident than be in a hurry a have an accident. However, no matter how defensive or safe you drive, the chances are extremely high that you will be involved in an accident.
Car wrecks usually happen when you least expect them. Nobody has time for a car wreck, but they happen daily. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 10 million car wrecks occur every year in the United States. Here are five very important steps that all drivers need to know:1. Get Information
Car wrecks can range from non-injury fender bender to sustaining serious injuries, or even death. Regardless of the impact or injuries, always have the information you need. You should always carry current insurance information, driver’s license, and emergency contact information in case you are seriously injured. If possible, after the accident, make sure you get the other driver’s information including their driver’s license number, insurance company, insurance agent, policy number, and phone number of the insurance company. Additionally, take a picture of their driver’s license and insurance card with your phone if possible. Even if you don’t think you need it, it’s always better to have the information and not need it than need it and not have it.2. Injury Evaluation
Injuries from car wrecks can involve minor soreness, whiplash, broken bones, or head and neck. Regardless of the injury, make sure you get an evaluation by a certified medical practitioner. Obviously, if you have serious injuries such as broken bones or head injuries, emergency medical personnel should assist you at the scene of the accident. If you are taken to the hospital by emergency personnel, make sure the treatment of your injuries gets documented and you have access to those records once you are cleared to leave the hospital. You should follow up your emergency treatment with your physician and doctor’s such as chiropractor, pain management, neurologists, and orthopedics necessary to treat your injuries. Once again, make sure every treatment is documented. Words are hearsay, and if it’s not documented - most times it didn’t happen in the court of law.3. Start the Healing Process
Most injuries from in car wrecks affect the soft tissues, such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. You can begin this healing process at home. The first step is to reduce the inflammation. You will get varying opinions on this from different doctors. Icing does reduce excess inflammation. Ice your injured area(s) for twenty minutes each hour that you can. Do not ice for more than 20 minutes an hour and stay away from heat. Heat increases the inflammation. Heat may feel good when applied, but creates much more pain and inflammation later.4. Make Sure You Document
We lead busy lives, and car wrecks make things worse. Keep a journal of everything, including how you feel each day during your recovery. Write down the doctors you see and on what dates you see them. Keep track of the work you miss because of your injuries, visiting the body shop, and talking on the phone with the insurance company and your attorney. Describe the impact the injuries bear on your life. You may not need it, but it’s always best to keep track, just in case. It’s very difficult to remember details a months later and this doesn’t hold much weight if you are being compensated for your injuries.5. Protect Yourself
Managing the details involved after a car wreck can be taxing. Insurance adjusters work for the insurance companies; they do not work for you. Insurance adjusters receive extensive training on how to reduce cost of a claim and settle it as quickly as possible. Do yourself a favor and make an appointment with an attorney who specializes in car wreck cases. Most attorneys will offer you a free consultation to discuss your case with you. They know how to evaluate your case and inform you whether or not you need representation. You may or may not need their services, buy not get a free opinion from an expert? Then you possess the information you need to make an educated decision on what step to take next. None of us want to deal with the pain, suffering, and loss of time that arises after a car wreck; however, preparation for the unforeseen saves you time, money, and more suffering. During car wreck accidents, you should always be proactive, never wait for the situation to fix itself.