Everything was normal – until it wasn’t. You were simply driving the same route you drive every day from work back to your home when another vehicle came from out of nowhere and changed your life. Thankfully, you only sustained some minor injuries, but it’s going to take time and money to make sure that you recover fully from the collision.
Auto accidents can turn lives upside down, and most people simply don’t know what to do in the immediate aftermath of a collision – especially when there are injuries involved. People can become overwhelmed when this happens. They just want to return to their normal lives, but that seems impossible when unexpected (and costly) issues suddenly arise, whether they are medical, financial or legal in nature.
First Things First
What are the first things you should do after an auto accident? How do you ensure that return to your normal life as quickly and painlessly as possible?
These steps will help you ensure that you avoid further injury/damage in the aftermath of the accident, but they will also help you make sure that avoid mistakes that could keep you from returning to your normal life:
- Stop and Protect Yourself (and the Scene)
Whatever you do, don’t leave the site! Also, turn on your hazard lights, set up flares and do what you can to prevent complications and additional accidents.
- Contact the Police, Report and Document
Once the police have arrived, give them your account of the collision to the best of your ability. If you’re not sure about an injury, state that you’re not sure – don’t say no! You might not become aware of some injuries until hours or days later. Once you’ve spoken with authorities, document the scene of the collision by taking pictures and writing notes that capture the story of your experience. All information you collect should be kept in a single file so you always have an accurate account of the accident and its aftermath.
- Obtain the Proper Information
The police will be able to help you obtain all pertinent information about your accident. This includes information about the other driver’s insurance coverage, witness statements, etc.
- Report the Collision to Your Insurance Company
It is important to notify your auto insurance company as soon as possible about your collision. This allows you to take full advantage of the benefits to which you are entitled.
- Seek Medical Attention
This is incredibly important since many injuries may not be apparent at the time of your accident. Once you’ve completed the steps above, your first visit should be to the emergency room to evaluate your condition.
- Preserve and Protect Your Rights Legally
This step is essential. Your attorney can help you make sure that you’re protected throughout the healing process. They will ensure that no important evidence is destroyed, and they can give you valuable advice when it comes to giving statement to insurance companies and other parties. Most personal injury attorneys (including Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC) collect no fee until after a settlement is reached, meaning that you need not worry about mounting costs when you’re trying to get your life back on track. With your attorney’s help, you can be confident that you’re taking the right steps on the path to full financial and medical recovery.