September 22, 2021

Steps to Take After Being in a Car Accident

We never want to see anyone in our community or our friends and family injured in car accidents. It doesn’t matter what the cause of the crash was. After having been in an accident involving a vehicle, we know how vital it is to seek help. But what kind of help should you pursue? While all of these suggestions should be considered, after doing first-aid, the steps may happen in a different order than presented, based on your unique situation.

Medical Assistance

Dialing 911 should always be done when injuries are present, suspected, or if one or more individuals cannot be moved to safety. If you aren’t sure, but someone involved is requesting emergency medical care, always dial 911.

Always render first-aid when possible before taking care of other matters. Saving lives and preventing further injury is the most critical aspect of getting help after car accidents.

Police Reports

After medical care is sought after, the next step in getting help after car accidents is summoning law enforcement. Law enforcement should be able to come to the accident scene and begin filing the necessary reports. These reports are necessary for assisting insurance companies or courts in settling insurance claims and possible future legal issues.

Always ask the law enforcement officer for a filing reference number. Always follow up with the police department who responded on scene to obtain the official copies of the police reports once the reports become available.

Insurance Information

Typically, around the same time as medical care is provided and law enforcement is summoned, all parties involved in the accident exchange insurance information in the process of getting help after car accidents. Sometimes this happens between the parties, and sometimes law enforcement officials help facilitate this depending on the situation. It seems like a small administrative detail, but auto insurance companies need the other party’s insurance information to process claims.

Vehicle Repair or Replacement

One aspect of getting help after car accidents is dealing with any necessary repairs your vehicle may need. Removing your broken car from the scene of the accident involves calling a tow truck, which law enforcement may have on speed-dial, specifically for these situations. If the car can still safely operate, it should be driven to a safe location until a qualified mechanic can make the necessary repairs.

Auto insurance companies may provide you with a temporary rental vehicle to use while yours is being repaired. When the cost of the vehicle repairs exceeds the value of the vehicle, an insurance company may opt to ‘total’ your vehicle. Totaling the vehicle means the insurance company will consider the vehicle a complete loss. In that case, you might receive a payout for the vehicle’s current market value unless your insurance policy states it differently.

Many policies will only pay for standard or common vehicle parts. If your vehicle was a classic car or was significantly modified with custom work and parts, you may have difficulty getting those items covered by an insurance company. Each insurance company is different in how it wants you to handle the cost of repairs and the repair process. Often, repairs to your vehicle can take longer than you originally anticipated.

Auto Accident Lawyer

Getting help after car accidents includes seeking the assistance of auto accident lawyers. Whenever there are injuries present or suspected in a vehicular collision, it’s crucial to involve an auto accident lawyer. Personal injury lawyers negotiate on your behalf with auto insurance companies to make sure your rights are protected.

An auto accident lawyer will gather evidence about your car accident, the contact information of all those involved, the insurance company contact information, and policy coverage information. The lawyer begins assessing your medical history, your injuries, and correspondence you’ve participated in up to this point while comparing this to the applicable laws of your state, the conditions of the accident, and tries to determine who’s at fault. The legal team contacts any who may have witnessed the accident.

Armed with all possible information, the auto accident attorney helps you navigate through the legal aspects of a car accident. Personal injury lawyers allow you to potentially receive a far more fair insurance payout than you would have received on your own.

Pain Management Treatment

Many people don’t think about ongoing medical care. Processing ongoing medical care can happen long after you begin getting help after car accidents. Injuries do not heal overnight and may present several complications for an individual later on.

Ongoing pain needs proper pain management treatment. Some pain management therapy involves one or more types of pain relief solutions. Some pain management therapy includes a regiment of limited prescription medications, steroid injections, acupuncture, or anti-anxiety medication.

Your medical team can help determine how to manage your ongoing pain, but everyone reacts differently. No one pain treatment regimen is going to treat all your pain in one fell swoop. Instead, it may take a combination of pain treatments to mitigate your pain to where you can regain some sense of normalcy. The goal of any pain treatment management system is to help your body recover so you can get back to life.

Rehabilitation Services

Getting help after car accidents mean planning out the proper rehabilitation plan with qualified rehabilitation services. During rehabilitation, depending on what the medical team decides, you could go through more than one round of physical therapy appointments, chiropractor visits, and prescribed massage therapy sessions. After each round of rehabilitation services, your doctor will decide how many more, if any, you will need going forward.

The goal of rehabilitation services is to get your body back to the normal range of motion you had before the accident. You shouldn’t have chronic pain or movement problems and should be expected to concentrate on the job when you get back to work. Having a full range of motion is especially important for jobs that involve a lot of physical movements, such as flagging, warehouse work, food service, and other industries.

Ongoing Care

Based on some injuries and their complications, you might need ongoing care in the form of doctor’s visits, treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stretching therapy, and more. All of these related components are part of the process of getting help after car accidents. PTSD shows up in many ways in different people. Many individuals experience difficulty sleeping after a car accident, and they are distracted from their work during the day.

Other anxiety symptoms might present themselves like sweaty palms, racing heartbeat, or pain in their upper body that comes and goes and appears in different places. These symptoms might present themselves more frequently as the time to get into a vehicle approaches. It doesn’t matter if the trip in the vehicle is routine or not. A medical provider may suggest cognitive behavior therapy, medication, suggest holistic treatments, or a combination of the three when assisting the individual in recovering.

Dealing with Lost Wages

Most people involved in car accidents have to deal with some form of lost wages. The more significant the injuries, the longer it takes to recover. Standard recovery time doesn’t include time to account for more than one surgery and the recovery time for each surgery. With each surgery and each recovery period, a person loses more and more time at work. Employers might opt to place the employee on short-term or long-term disability if the employee had that coverage. If not, the employee will suffer a more considerable loss of wages.

In some cases, an employee might qualify for absentee protection due to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Typically, to be eligible, the employee must be on the job for at least 12 months. A qualified employee will receive protection from being fired due to multiple periods off. If a person is not eligible for FMLA and does not have supplemental insurance to assist in lost wages, the employee and their family could be facing significant financial hardships. Financial suffering is compounded if the employer decides the person’s position is no longer necessary at the company during this time. Getting help after car accidents involves being able to protect yourself financially.

Civil Lawsuits

If perhaps there were alcohol or drugs involved in the cause of the crash, there may be civil lawsuits filed against more than one party. There’s an increased chance of this happening, especially if there was any driving while under the influence ( DUI) or if the at-fault driver was dealing with an auto suspension of their driver’s license. Auto accident lawyers can help you determine how much of a case you may have towards another party.

If you’re the at-fault driver, you must seek the assistance of an auto accident attorney if you think you might be faced with a civil lawsuit by one of the other parties. Many things will need to be done on your behalf to prepare you for a civil court battle due to a car accident. Evidence from all aspects of the accident will need to be gathered, and witnesses will need to be subpoenaed while other forensic information is obtained. Seeking legal aid for this aspect of a car crash aftermath is one of the least sought-after options when getting help after car accidents.

Dealing with Grief

Most people wouldn’t think that grieving is something that happens after a car accident. In the most extreme cases, a life is lost, and those that remain behind must deal with the grief process over the death of their loved one. In less extreme cases, people find themselves naturally experiencing the stages of grief during longer recovery periods. Whenever a person suffers a significant loss of routine, sense of self, confidence, or loss of motion, the stages of grief can set in. The five stages of grief can set in at any time, can happen in any order, and may cycle on and off in various depths and strengths during recovery. Getting help after car accidents involves understanding that your loved ones may experience a sense of loss and helping them through these normal adjustments.

Regaining Driving Confidence

It’s a normal reaction to be somewhat fearful when you get back to driving. Getting help after car accidents involves regaining the confidence to get back on the road.

Some people find it helpful to begin driving normally right away as the fastest method of overcoming their fears. Others may need a more incremental approach. Easing back into driving can involve choosing to only drive during daylight hours, never driving an hour or two before bedtime, and giving far more extra space to the cars around them whenever they are on the road. Some might find it helpful to avoid the rush hour or to modify their daily routes to avoid troublesome intersections in their local area until their confidence returns.

Everyone is different in this regard. If a person feels they are struggling with getting back to confident driving after some time, they should consult with their medical team for assistance to rule out other causes.

Conclusion

No matter what the cause of a car accident, you should always find ways of getting help after car accidents. Each person’s recovery will be different, as well as the possibilities of what auto insurance companies will attempt or avoid doing to settle an insurance claim. Various laws state who is liable for damages and medical bills after a car accident. An auto accident lawyer or personal injury lawyer can help walk you through the nuances of processing an auto accident claim.

Working with medical professionals, repair companies, insurance companies, auto accident attorneys, and more can feel overwhelming. You don’t have to recover on your own, and you shouldn’t have to face the financial fallout of an unexpected event like this on your own, either. As part of getting help after car accidents, it’s also important to remember that some jurisdictions have limitations on how long after an accident you can claim for insurance purposes and legal purposes. Just know that you’re not alone, and many great working professionals are standing by to assist you in your repair and recovery processes.

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