We all know that being involved in a car accident is a risk we live with. Whether you are driving, are a passenger, or even a pedestrian or biker minding your own business on a sidewalk or crosswalk, being involved in a car accident is a reality that many people unfortunately face. The hope is that if this happens, there would be no injuries and it would be a matter of property damage only. However, the fact is that many people are injured every day in car accidents. So what do you do if you happen to be one of them?
For this list, let’s assume you are well enough to handle your own business and not in a position where you are so severely injured you are not able to care for yourself.
1. Get contact info for the other party involved. Make sure that you get contact info as well
as the driver’s license information for the other party involved in the accident. Also, be sure to swap insurance information as your carriers will more than likely be involved in straightening out the details. If the other party is agitated, uncooperative, or generally makes you feel uneasy, be sure to call for Police to assist. If there are injuries, however, it would be wise to call the police to the scene regardless, as the accident will need to be documented for insurance purposes. If you feel uneasy, keep your safety as your first priority and wait until help arrives.
2. If you need immediate medical attention, get it. Don’t try to be a hero and ignore your needs- it is better to get checked out and be fine than decline to be seen and not be okay. If you have a ride to the hospital or doctor and don’t want or need to be transported by ambulance, that could be an option as well. Follow medical advice and care for your own needs.
3. If you are injured and have resulting costs, pain, and work limitations, you may be in a
position where you would need to take appropriate legal action to compensate your lost money, time, and possible wages. If you think you are in this position, contact an attorney early in the process to help you understand your rights and obligations in pursuing this course of action. You will most likely be asked to keep great records as well as document all details and interactions.
4. If this whirlwind of responsibilities, pain, and uncertainty is making you feel emotionally
and physically winded, then you would be validated in those feelings. Getting injured in an accident is rarely anticipated, planned for, or comfortable. The amount of pain, uncertainty, and fear that accompanies being injured in an accident can take their toll emotionally. So if you are feeling overwhelmed and victimized, make finding peace in your life a top priority. Put your needs first and allow yourself to heal. If you need help, ask for it. If you have someone who is willing to help you make calls, take care of physical needs, or be emotional support, allow it. If you don’t have these influences in your life, reach out to organizations that can lend an ear or offer helpful advice.
Injuries can be life-changing- affecting the way you work (or don’t) and affecting your livelihood and quality of life. If your injury will permanently affect your livelihood, seek professional help in securing the resources you need. You can also seek professional help to assist you in coping with these new changes in your life and how they will impact you moving forward.