7 Steps To Take Immediately After A Car Accident
It’s estimated that 40-60% of the population sees a Chiropractor in Raleigh after a car accident. Chiropractors are great for soft tissue injuries like whiplash, sprains, and strains from a car accident because they specialize in soft tissue injuries and spinal care.
Car accidents can happen in the blink of a moment, leaving damaged vehicles, injured bodies, and at times even death. If you’ve been in a car accident please read the steps below to know what to do after the accident has taken place.
What you do immediately following a car accident is very important for your safety and future health, particularly if you were injured and dealing with insurance companies:
- Step 1:
- Make sure you are safe. Get your vehicle out of traffic. Check others in the car to make sure they are safe. Turn off your engine to prevent a fire or gasoline from spilling and igniting. Turn on your lights or blinkers to prevent other accidents. Never drive away from the scene of a car accident.
- Check yourself and passengers for signs of injury. Did anyone lose consciousness or experience a concussion? Is anyone experiencing neck pain, back pain, head pain, blurry vision, shoulder, or knee pain? These can all be signs an injury has occurred. If there were injuries call 911 immediately.
- Step 2:
- Call the police. It’s very important to call the police immediately following a car accident even if there were no serious injuries. You’ll need a police report to report the accident to the car insurance Oftentimes, there is damage, even in minor accidents, that is not visible on the exterior of the vehicles.
- There may be internal damage to the frame or undercarriage of the vehicle. It is also quite common not to feel pain immediately from all the adrenaline after a car accident. It is common for neck pain, back pain, or headaches to develop in the hours and days following the car accident. It is important initially to get it documented by the police that you were involved in a car accident and injured. But more importantly, you must get seen by a medical provider to document you were injured from the car accident.
- Step 3:
- Make detailed records of the complete details of the accident. When the police arrive tell them everything you know involving the car accident. Gather witnesses who saw the accident so that they can also inform the police of exactly what happened.
- Step 4:
- Take pictures. If you have a cell phone or camera in your vehicle make sure to take pictures of the visible damage to all vehicles involved. You want to make sure that you have pictures of the vehicles as soon as possible so try to take them from the scene if you can.
- Step 5:
- Exchange information. Make sure to exchange your insurance information and contact information with the other involved parties in the car accident. It’s also important to gather the names of the drivers and passengers and all the vehicles involved. Get the license plate numbers, makes and models of all vehicles involved, and the contact information of eyewitnesses. It’s also important to write down the location of the accident and the police officers’ names, jurisdictions, and badge numbers.
- Step 6:
- If you were injured, GO TO STEP 1: Get immediate medical attention. This should be number one on the list if you feel the injuries were significant. Go straight to the hospital. It’s not uncommon to suffer fractures, head injuries, torn ligaments, whiplash, damage to internal organs, or herniated discs as a result of a car accident.
- Many report feeling symptoms increase in the hours and days following a car accident. It may be required to seek chiropractic care and physical therapy, which can last for months. Chiropractors specialize in injury recovery and modalities to promote healing of injured tissue. Remember that when injuries do not fully heal it leads to chronic conditions like arthritis in the spine and joints.
- Step 7:
- Keep good records. Make detailed notes on all of your conversations with insurance adjusters, attorneys, and medical providers. Keep records of all missed time from work, doctor visits, and bills related to the car accident injuries.
- Being in a car accident is a stressful life event. The steps you take following this unforeseen life event can make a substantial difference when getting your car fixed, treating injuries, and dealing with insurance companies for monetary compensation.
As mentioned previously, you may need to seek chiropractic care for months afterward. Feel free to reach out to us for questions or to book an appointment.
Dr. Jeffrey Gerdes, D.C.