Car accidents are never easy to go through, especially if you get injured. Besides all the financial strains that result from possible repairs and replacements, medical bills can break the bank too. Not to mention the physical, mental, and emotional pain that you may go through, and all the ways in which your recovery can hinder your daily life. Being unable to go to work, putting your pay cheque on pause, as well as not being able to participate in activities with friends and family, or complete your chores can be very frustrating. If you don’t handle the situation correctly, you may be left with severe, untreated injuries and unprotected rights. If you are hurt in a car accident, here’s how to figure out how to handle it the right way.
The first thing that you should do as soon as you get into a car accident is to call the police. Don’t leave the crash scene, and if possible, tell the other party to stay too. Make sure to write down their licence plate number somewhere, just in case. When you inform the police about the accident, the chances are that a paramedic team will arrive at the crash scene as well. They will get you checked and offer you temporary relief until you get to the hospital. Make sure to tell the team everything that you are feeling, leaving no symptoms or injuries out, regardless of how mild or insignificant you think they are. You should also tell the police about all your injuries as they write the report. The police will conduct a preliminary investigation of the crash scene, assess the condition of your vehicle and the other vehicle(s) involved too. They will interview you and the other parties, as well as any witnesses, to determine the party that was at fault. This is why your report should be as thorough and accurate as you can remember, leaving no details out. You should also be very careful regarding what you say because as you are trying to prove the other party liable and yourself innocent, the other party is probably trying to do exactly the same, even if they were at fault.
Speak to witnesses
Even if you had already contacted the police, you need to speak to witnesses of your own; that is if your injuries do not prevent you from doing so. Make sure to collect their information and ensure that they would be willing to talk to law enforcement. In most cases, witnesses leave the crash scene before the police arrive. This can be problematic because it will be your word against the other party. By collecting witness information, the police will be able to contact them, and therefore gather clearer insight into the situation. The legal professionals at Brooks Law Group suggest that collecting their information will come in handy if you plan on taking legal action later on. Your lawyer may need to contact them in case they have to testify in court. Besides, the police usually don’t collect detailed witness information. They will only take their name without writing down their phone number to contact them later. If your witness has a common name, tracking them down would be close to impossible.
Seek medical help
Even if you got checked by the paramedics at the crash scene, you still need to pay the emergency room at the hospital a visit. A thorough check-up is needed to ensure that you haven’t obtained any serious injuries. Even if your symptoms feel bearable, you need to keep in mind that the adrenaline rush can mask some very severe symptoms. Not only that, but many serious injuries can come disguised as regular symptoms. For instance, if you have a headache, which is considered normal after getting into an accident, there’s a chance that it may be a concussion. Leaving serious health conditions untreated can result in further complications. When you speak to your doctor, make sure to mention all your pains and injuries, leaving nothing out. The longer you wait to receive medical attention, the weaker your claim will be; the insurance company will use this against you, arguing that your injuries weren’t a direct product of the accident. Make sure to keep all medical bills, records, and reports.
Car accidents can be emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially draining. If you were injured, many of your daily life activities can be put on pause. Not to mention all the repair costs, along with the medical bills that will leave a dent in your pocket. Following these tips will ensure that you protect your rights after getting into a car crash.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.