Getting into a car accident can be scary. It can be a pain too. You can’t just brush off and forget about it. There are things you have to do in the days after an accident to make sure you recover physically, mentally, and financially.
Call an Attorney
It’s always worth your time to contact an attorney immediately after an accident. They can make the process of recovering from an accident much easier.
First, it just feels good to have an attorney in your corner. There may be things about the accident that frustrate you. It can be difficult to talk to people who haven’t experienced an accident or who just don’t understand, but it’s your attorney’s job to understand! It can feel good to know that your attorney is working hard to represent you.
If the accident wasn’t your fault, you can retain an attorney to help you receive compensation. You may get compensated for damages, but you can get compensated for medical costs as well. It’s important to note that when you are choosing an attorney that you pick one that’s specialized in car accidents, and that they know the legislation of the state where the car accident happened. For example, if the accident happened in LA, you should consult a Los Angeles car accident attorney.
Not only can an attorney represent you in an accident that wasn’t your fault, they can also help you deal with your insurance, even if the accident was your fault. That way you get all of the benefits of your policy that you’ve paid for.
Go to the Doctor
It’s important to go to the doctor. They can address any injuries you have that are obvious, like broken bones and scrapes, but they can also help you, even if you don’t feel like anything is wrong. For example, you may not notice you have whiplash until you’re sitting at your desk at work, or you may develop spinal stiffness days afterwards while sitting on your couch.
Not only can they help you recover, they can also help you if you’re making a claim against another driver. Medical documentation, as soon after the accident as possible, can help support your case if you’re claiming that you deserve compensation for a medical condition.
Call Your Insurance
Not only should you visit with an attorney and a doctor, but you should also call your insurance to report the crash as soon as possible after your accident. The quicker you call, the quicker they can file your claim, and the quicker you will be reimbursed.
No one likes talking to their insurance, which is why so many people put it off. A little prepping can go a long way. A few tips for talking to your insurance include:
- Stick to the facts and avoid overexplaining
- Don’t blame the accident on anyone
- Be prepared to be referred to a doctor
Just taking time to understand that your insurance provider has a process they must follow can help you be prepared. When you take the time to understand the claims process, you’re a lot less likely to lose your cool on the phone when your insurer tells you which doctor to go see or your claim hasn’t yet been approved.
Assess Your Car
It’s important not to jump right back in your car after an accident. There could be things that are wrong with your vehicle, making it dangerous to drive.
Know how to do your own general inspection to see if you can spot any problems. A few things to look for include:
- Look under the car for any obvious leaks
- Check for low or damaged tires
- Check that your headlights, brake lights, and turn signals work
- Look for steam or smoke when the car is started
- See if it handles differently
If you’re worried about your car, consider taking it into the mechanic. Not only can they provide you with peace of mind if nothing is wrong, they can also provide you with documentation for your insurance company if something is wrong.
Start Keeping Track of Relevant Records
Your insurance provider will require all kinds of documentation from the repairs that need to be made to your car to assessments and treatments from your doctor. If you have hired an attorney, they will want that information too. They may also request other types of information, like time spent with a psychiatrist.
This includes the initial records from your first visit to the doctor and the mechanic, but you should also keep track of relevant records in the coming days and weeks. Log any time you had to take off work, additional trips to the doctor, and anything else that pertains to your crash. Additionally, you will need the official police report. If the incident happens in CA, you can access the California crash report online with some of the accident’s basic information, such as the ZIP code, date, and your car’s VIN.
Decide Who’s Going to Drive
Getting back into your car can be scary after an accident, especially if you are suffering from a mental illness due to the crash. Don’t force yourself back behind the wheel if you aren’t ready. You are just putting yourself in danger of getting into another accident.
Instead, find someone else who can drive. That might mean carpooling to work with a friend or taking the bus. Ask a family member to go with you to run errands and consider riding your bike until you’re truly ready to drive again.
Take Some Time
Everyone should take more time off of work. It’s good for your brain during the best of times, but it’s also good for your brain and your body to take time off of work after an accident. If you’re feeling sore and anxious, take the day off of work or ask for help from friends and family to cook dinner and take care of the kids.
You may also want to consider taking some time with a psychiatrist or a counselor. They can help you work through your feelings surrounding the accident. By working through your issues, you can ultimately get back behind the wheel with confidence.
You can’t just pull your car into the driveway and forget that your accident happened. There are things you need to do in the days after your accident to make sure all your ducks are in a row. That way, you get the mental and monetary support you need to carry on with your everyday life.