Checklist: What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

How Long After a Car Accident Do You Feel Pain?

There is no set time table of when you will feel pain from an injury. For some injuries, there is a possibility that you could never fully recover. That is why it is important to listen to your doctor, and to follow their treatment plan to give your body the best chance at a full recovery.

How Long Can You Claim Injury After a Car Accident?

After a car accident, you have two years to file a claim. This is called the statute of limitations which provides a certain time period in which you can bring a certain legal claim, but bars the same claim from being made after the time period has run. This is to protect plaintiffs and defendants alike. This allows plaintiff’s an adequate amount of time to file suit, but also grants potential defendants the ability to not be on the hook for the rest of their lives.

How Long Do You Have to Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident?

You should always seek medical attention for as long as you need it.  As always, you should seek medical attention if you are injured and follow your doctors prescribed medical plan. There is no exact science to how people will recover from injuries. Your doctor can give you a prediction on how you should recover, but everyone is different and you may require additional treatment.

When Should You Go to the Doctor After a Car Accident?

If you believe you are injured you should seek medical attention. However, not all injuries are obvious and may take time to become prevalent. If you are involved in an accident where you do not feel hurt at the scene, you should not immediately assume that you have no claim. Often, the chaos and unrest at the accident scene can mask a number of injuries that may appear and cause pain in the coming hours or days. Although you may not feel injured at the time of the accident, be sure to contact your doctor as soon as possible. A proper medical examination may be critical in revealing the extent of your injuries, and providing evidence of those injuries later in the litigation process. Without proper documentation of these injuries, it will be very difficult to recover the money to which are rightly entitled.

Should I See a Doctor for Whiplash?

Whiplash is the product of your head rapidly moving forward then backwards. It is a common injury that occurs after a car accident. Common symptoms of whiplash are stiffness and pain of the neck, loss of motion of the neck, and headaches. Whiplash is a serious injury that could lead to chronic neck pain if left untreated. Also, what you might think is whiplash could actually be a broken bone or tissue damage. Therefore, it is important to see a medical professional to accurately diagnose your injury, and to prescribe medication and exercise to treat your injury.

What Should I Do After a Minor Car Accident?

Whether your car accident is minor or catastrophic, an accident occurred and damage has been done to your vehicle and you could be injured. Therefore, it is important to treat minor accidents the same as you would treat a “big accident”.

After a car accident, you should document the following to the best of your abilities:

  • Exactly where the accident took place
  • The position of the vehicles before and after the accident
  • Photographs of signs, buildings, or other obstructions that may have been involved in the cause of the accident
  • The names and addresses of anyone who was involved in the accident (passengers and drivers).
  • The names and addresses of anyone who witnessed the accident.
  • The make, model, and license plate information for all vehicles in the accident.
  • The insurance information for all vehicles involved in the accident.

Here is the complete checklist on what should i do after an accident.

What to do after car accident

1. Call the Police. Even if the accident appears to be minor, it is extremely important to call the police immediately in order to file a report. Wait for the police to arrive at the scene, unless it is simply impossible to do so. If you cannot wait for the police to arrive at the scene make sure you speak to the police as soon as possible following the accident.

2. Call for an ambulance. Call for medical assistance for yourself, passengers or anyone else injured at the scene.

3. Get information from the other driver. One of the most critical things you can do after a rear end car accident is to exchange information with the other driver as well as any other passengers who might be in the other driver’s vehicle. Get their contact information, including name, address, and phone number. Also note the license plate/tag number and state for the other driver’s vehicle. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information as well.

4. Document all injuries. Often times, very serious injuries are not experienced immediately after the accident. Make a detailed list of all injuries and pain you and other passengers are experiencing, even if it seems to be minor at the time.

5. Photograph the scene. Take pictures of the accident scene, if you can do so safely. If possible, take photos from multiple angles and locations. Be sure to photograph:

  • Vehicle damage
  • Injured drivers/passengers
  • Skid marks on the roadway
  • The road or intersection where the accident occurred
  • Lights or stop signs at the location of the accident

6. Cooperate with police, but speak with an attorney before accepting responsibility for the accident. Avoid speaking with anyone, other than police, about your car accident. You are not under any obligation to accept responsibility for the accident. Nor is there a need to blame others for the accident.

7. Do not Leave the scene of the accident. It is important to remain at the accident scene, unless you are being transported to the emergency room by ambulance, until all other drivers and police have left.

8. Notify your insurance company. You should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as you reasonably can after the accident. You are not under an obligation to contact your insurance company immediately; in other words you are not obligated to contact your insurance company from the scene, or from the hospital or even within the first day or two after the accident. Typically an insurance policy simply provides that you give them notice of the accident as soon as possible after the accident. The insurance company does not necessarily have your best interest in mind. They have their own best interest in mind. For this reason it is always a good idea to contact an attorney following a car accident in order to help you deal with the payment of medical bills, resolution of the property damage, and basically to deal with all issues concerning your case, and in particular issues involving your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company.

Usually local or state police will be called to the scene of the accident. If they are not watching the video below for advice on what you should do.

Questions Concerning Your Car Accident?

Feel free to share this checklist with others, print, and store in your glove box for quick access at the accident scene. Call our law firm’s toll-free number 800-422-8286 if you have any questions about your unique circumstances concerning an automobile accident.

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