At one time in each of our lives we may be victims (or the cause of) an auto accident. In either case, the most important thing to worry about in case of an accident is the people involved. Cars can be replaced. Material possessions can be replaced. A damaged spinal cord – no luck replacing that!.
The first thing to do immediately after you have settled down and calmed your nerves is to assess your own damage. Again, we’re not speaking about your vehicle. We’re talking about you. Can you move? Do you feel pain? Where is the pain? Do you have a headache? Can you move your arms and / or legs? Once you assess your own health, try to extricate yourself from your vehicle and see if the other person(s) are okay as well as begin to swap insurance information. Always report the auto accident to the police. It’s always important to have the accident documented for insurance purposes, especially if you are not at fault for the accident. If you’re not at fault, the other person’s insurance should then pay for repairs to your vehicle and any treatment expenses you incur.
Secondly, you should seek out medical attention. While at the scene of the accident, the policeman will generally ask if you need medical attention. If you feel that you are fine, do not request an ambulance, but if you are shaken up or feel a little pain, by all means, have an ambulance transport you to the nearest hospital. Some injuries may not be obvious within the first few minutes, hours or even days after the accident, but it is a good idea to get expert medical advice about what you are feeling. If you do not go to the hospital immediately, seek out your primary care physician or a chiropractor and them assess your aches and pains that began after your accident.
Just like you would preserve evidence of your accident (pictures of your vehicle and the other vehicle, weather conditions, road conditions, etc) you should also have pictures taken of your external injuries to prove that they are from the accident. If the pain persists after the accident and the initial medical check-up, go back to your doctor or chiropractor for extended treatment options.
And of course, hire a personal injury lawyer who will best represent your interests, so you can get your bills paid.