Almost every one of us has been a victim of (or the cause of) a vehicle accident at least once in our lifetime. In either case, the most important thing to be concerned about, of course, are the people involved. Vehicles can be replaced, possessions can be replaced but something like a damaged spinal cord is impossible to replace!
The first thing to do instantly after you have calmed down and relaxed is to check your own damage. Again, we’re not talking about your vehicle. We’re speaking about you. Can you move in your usual full range of motion using your neck and low back? Do you experience pain? Where is the pain? Do you feel a headache? Can you move your arms and/or legs normally? Once you assess your own condition, remove yourself from your vehicle and see if the other people are okay as well. Then proceed to exchanging insurance information. Always report the auto accident to the local police. It’s always essential to have the accident documented for insurance grounds, especially if you are not at fault in the accident. If you’re not at fault, the other driver’s insurance company will almost always pay for the repair to your vehicle and any treatment expenses you incur.
Next you should focus on seeking out and obtaining appropriate medical attention. While at the site of the accident the policeman will usually ask if you need medical care. If you are absolutely sure that you’re okay, do not ask for an ambulance, but if you do feel even just slightly “different” or even just a small amount of pain somewhere, by all means, have an ambulance transport you to the closest hospital just to be on the safe side. Some injuries may not be clear within the first few minutes, hours or even days after the crash. Therefore it is advised to seek professional medical advice regarding the injuries that you might have sustained. If you are not going to a hospital immediately, contact your primary care doctor and chiropractor and let them assess your pains and aches that started as a result of this accident within a day or two.
Just like you would compile evidence of your crash (pictures of your car and the other car(s) involved, weather conditions, road situation, etc.) you should also have photos taken of your obvious external injuries as additional proof that they were caused by the crash. If the pain continues for days after the accident and after your first medical check-up, go back to your MD or chiropractor for further treatment options.
And of course, consider retaining the services of a personal injury lawyer who will best represent your case. By doing so it will be much easier to get your bills paid and any due compensation for your inconvenience, lost work, ongoing injuries, etc.