If you are in a car accident, it is a stressful and even scary event. But it is always vital to stay calm. The first steps after a car accident and car accident injuries may affect how you are reimbursed later from insurance companies or if you go to court. Below is more information about how and when to check for car accident injuries and what to do after a crash.
First, you should get medical attention as soon as possible after the car accident. Even if you think that you were not hurt, you still should be checked out by a doctor immediately. It is common for people to think they are not hurt at all after a crash but discover a few days later that they are in a lot of pain. This can damage your case; the insurance company or defense attorney will surely argue that your injuries and pain had a cause other than the accident. The insurance company might also argue that you have a pre-existing condition that is leading to your current injuries and pain.
By having a medical professional document your case as soon as possible, you can get on paper that you have injuries that are directly related to the accident. If you are not checked out medically right away, you could have pain, discomfort, dizziness or numbness hit you a day or two later from a head or neck injury, for example. But your ability to file a claim will have been compromised if you did not go to a doctor yet.
Before you leave the accident scene, it also is recommended to get pictures of your injuries and the damage and position of all vehicles in the crash. This will help you during the claims or lawsuit process too.
When you are at the doctor, you should take careful note of your accident injuries and medical treatments. These acts will help you to get reimbursed from the auto insurance company. It is recommended to write down the names and contact information of all your medical professionals that treat you, including doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists.
Keep the receipts for drugs that you were prescribed, or any assistive devices you were given, such as crutches. Many accident victims find it is helpful to keep a journal about your injuries and medical care. Be as specific as you can about how much pain you have and any inconvenience you have from your injuries.
Next, keep a file of all correspondence you have with doctors during your treatment regimen. This will include notes and emails that you keep after any doctor’s appointments. Be sure to also save all receipts and medical bills, as well as prescriptions, special foods invoices, medical equipment and co-payments.
It is especially important to be checked by a doctor immediately after an accident for any non-visible injuries, such as head or neck injuries. These types of injuries can be severely debilitating, but as they are hard to see, they may not be taken seriously by the defense. Neck injuries such as whiplash, as real and as painful as they can be, are often treated skeptically by insurance companies. The more information you have from a doctor about the seriousness of your neck and head injuries, the more likely you will be fairly compensated for medical costs and pain and suffering.