A car accident, even a seemingly simple fender bender, can leave victims shaken up and in shock. In the commotion of it all, it can be difficult to know exactly what to do.
There are certain steps that people should take after a car accident, and doing them correctly often makes it easier to get insurance coverage.
Steps to take at the crash site
According to AARP, car accidents occur to more than six million people in the country every year. The first priority in any crash is the safety of all drivers, passengers and witnesses. Drivers should observe the initial damage, the injury conditions of themselves and passengers and notice if there are any immediate dangers. If there is significant damage or injuries, someone should call 911. As soon as it is possible, all involved parties should move out of traffic.
In non-emergency situations, someone should contact the police so each party can fill out an accident report, which helps when it comes to filing an insurance claim. Each party should exchange contact and insurance information, and there should be minimum conversation, with no one admitting fault. It may help to take photos of the vehicles and surrounding area and to record in detail what happened.
Take into account delayed symptoms
During the police report, and speaking with the other parties, the question of symptoms and injuries is common. Even if someone feels ok immediately after the accident, it does not mean there are no injuries. According to KTAR News, it is common for symptoms to show up hours or even days after a crash. Some of the most common delayed symptoms include:
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Back pain
- Numbness in hands and arms
- Abdominal pain
- Personality changes
Some symptoms, such as neck pain, headaches and numbness, are often due to whiplash, and chiropractic care and other modalities can be helpful. Personality changes may indicate a concussion, which is a sign of brain injury. Abdominal pain may indicate internal bleeding, and the accident victim should seek emergency services.