In 2015 alone, Americans drove an accumulative 3.15 trillion miles. That’s the equivalent of driving between Earth and Pluto over 600 times. Needless to say, we are driving more than ever. But with so many drivers on the road, there are unfortunately higher chances of more accidents. This can be due to various circumstances: problems with the roads, problems with drivers or unfavorable weather conditions are just a few potential issues for road users. So if you find yourself in a car accident or have recently experienced a car accident, bear this following information in mind.
Always stop at the scene. If you believe that you have hurt another person or pet, significantly damaged another vehicle, or damaged some sort of roadside feature (lamp post, sign, barrier, etc) then this is especially important. There are few things worse than a hit and run incident. So avoid escalating the situation to a crime.
Call Emergency Services
If another person is significantly hurt, it is essential that you ring the emergency services immediately. Calling an ambulance quickly could make all of the difference to their condition and their potential for a full recovery. If you have been in an accident where someone has left without leaving their details, or the road is blocked or damaged, you will have to ask for the police. They will be able to ensure that the scene is managed properly, redirecting traffic until the road is safe to use again and thus preventing further subsequent accidents from occurring at the location.
You will need to exchange insurance details with any cars that you have had a bump or minor accident with. Ensure that you all have each other’s’ full names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, vehicle registration numbers, insurance details and policy numbers. This will be essential for any insurance claims in the follow up to the accident. The situation is tense, but attempt to remain calm and civil with one another. Also exchange any details with witnesses, so that you can contact them later for statements or reports.
Take photographic evidence of any damage caused by the incident. This can be damage to your car or physical damage to your bodies, such as bruising, cuts or scratches. These can also be used as evidence later if needs be. Ensure that they are high quality and as clear as possible.
Visit your GP
If you don’t have any major injuries that need to be seen by paramedics or emergency services, book an appointment with your GP who will be able to conduct a full check of your overall health and well-being. Many injuries that people sustain in car accidents are not immediately visible and only become apparent later down the line. Think of problems such as whiplash. These are best treated sooner rather than later, as this will minimize the detrimental effects of the incident. Traumatic situations can also have negative effects on individuals mental well-being, which you may want to seek counseling or treatment for.
Besides physical and mental damage, car accidents can cause serious problems with your lifestyle. The time taken to recover can leave you out of work and this is particularly detrimental to those who are self-employed and are not in receipt of sick pay. This is especially awful when the incident happened through no fault of your own. In this kind of situation, it may be a good idea to get into contact with a compassionate and caring car accident lawyer. These professionals will be able to guide you through the process of reclaiming lost funds. This will reduce the stress involved in trying to tide yourself over without a steady income and also allow you the necessary time that you need to make a full recovery. You may also want to seek compensation for hospital costs, as treatment and therapy don’t come cheap.
Take Your Time
You may want to rush back to work as soon as possible, leaving the incident in the past. Who can blame you? Car accidents are traumatic and not something that you want to spend your time focusing on. But it is important that you allow yourself the necessary time to recover fully. Otherwise, you may see other health problems crop up down the line or a worsening of your current symptoms. Stick to your hospital or therapy appointments to ensure that you are in receipt of the best treatment possible and are entirely recovered before easing yourself back into your usual routine.