Though not every car accident that occurs in the streets and highways of the United States causes injuries to drivers or passengers, the fact that most such incidents involve moving vehicles made of metal and other materials raises one’s chances of being hurt in some way as a result of a car crash. Even a fender bender can give a driver whiplash if the contact between the two vehicles is hard enough. Quite often, however, car crashes can cause lacerations, concussions, broken bones, chipped or lost teeth, head trauma, severed limbs, or even burns.
If you have been involved in a car accident and you have been injured, the first thing you need to do is seek medical treatment immediately. Even if you only have what you believe are minor cuts and bruises, you may have sustained more serious injuries than you may be aware of. Immediately after the accident call law enforcement or 911 and report what happened. Be sure to tell the emergency dispatcher your location and what injuries you may have.
Do not delay going to the hospital. You may be able to walk around, take notes on the accident, acquire the other driver’s insurance information, and talk to the first responders – usually police officers – on the scene, but go to the nearest medical facility as soon as possible. If your car has only minor damage and the law enforcement officer on scene clears you, drive yourself there. However, if you can’t drive due to injuries or car damage, get into an ambulance or other rescue vehicle that may have been summoned. Don’t worry about the bill or any financial issues at this point; just get medical treatment.
In many cases, you will need some medical care for some time after the accident. Even minor injuries cause pain and discomfort, and ignoring them now may lead to more serious health issues in the future. Follow all the treatment recommendations provided by your healthcare provider and, if you have started the legal procedures related to your accident, keep all your medical bills and injury related documentation and forward them to your car accident lawyer.
Keep in mind that even incurring minor injuries can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other emotionally scarring ramifications. Car accidents are highly unpleasant events, and even if no physical wounds result, the emotional scars may take a while to heal. You might, for instance, feel anxiety or even panic when getting in a car after the crash, or you may have trouble sleeping and experience nightmares.
In some cases, your car accident lawyer will advise you to not pay any bills relating to your accident even if you start getting calls from collecting agencies urging you to do so. Give all invoices and other documentation to your legal counsel; this is vital evidence which helps in preparing your legal case and will help determine the amount of the final settlement.