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Injured in a Car Accident? Do These 5 Things ASAP

Injured in a car accident? A car accident can have an immediate impact on your life, your bank account, and your health.

An accident happens in a blink of an eye. Here’s what to do if you are a victim.

What to Do If You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident

If you don’t know, a personal injury lawyer can help you understand what steps to take. No matter what car accident you were in, you need to take action immediately.

1. Do NOT leave the scene of the accident

You may be subject to criminal prosecution if you leave the scene of an accident.

It doesn’t matter that you were not at fault. Leaving the scene could negatively impact your case and give the other side ammo to point liability in your direction.

Why would you leave the scene if you were not at fault?

This is exactly what the insurance company’s lawyers would say in court.

Making this mistake can cost you big on your car accident injury claim.

Try to remain as calm as possible and get yourself to safety, either by remaining in the car or moving to a safe area within the vicinity of the accident.

2. Seek medical attention immediately and do not delay medical treatment

If you don’t feel pain, that doesn’t mean you weren’t injured.

Soft tissue injuries, whiplash, and back injuries can often not become apparent until long after your accident.

During an accident, your body is flooded with adrenaline.

Adrenaline also suppresses pain receptors, so at the time of an accident, you might not feel like you have been injured when you could have sustained significant injuries.

Here are a few common injuries that happen after a motor vehicle accident:


Whiplash occurs when your head is forced forward and back during an impact collision.

Since the spine is a crucial part of the central nervous system, an injury of this kind can be a lifelong debilitating injury.

Traumatic brain injury

When an object in motion comes to a sudden stop, it is vulnerable to the forces of physics.

The brain is a very delicate organ, contained in your skull and protected by blood and other fluid.

A traumatic brain injury might cause a concussion, which is bruising of the brain. Or it might cause shearing of blood vessels and pressure, which eventually builds inside the skull, causing even more damage. This can be treated only with hospitalization and sometimes invasive surgery.

Little is known about the long-term effects of something like a concussion, and even less is known regarding the lasting effects of serious head trauma.

Broken bones

If breaks are obvious, they need to be treated; if they are less obvious, they still require attention or may lead to infection or other problems.

During the impact, you might have clenched the steering wheel or pressed so hard on the brake pedal that you suffered an injury.

When adrenaline is pumping through your body, you may not realize that you fractured a bone until long after the accident.

Obvious injuries

Cuts from broken glass, airbag injuries, impact injuries, bruises, and other trauma must be checked by a medical professional.

Evidence of injuries and medical treatment will be an important part of the settlement process.

Your medical bills can only be covered if you include them in your personal injury lawsuit.


Shock is a silent killer, with the mind and body going into a state that reduces blood pressure, causes dissociation, and could eventually lead to death.

Even if you feel fine, there might be more going on. This is why it is so critical to be examined by a doctor after you are injured in a car accident.

3. Gather as much information as possible to use as evidence of injury and damages

Use your smartphone.

Take pictures of the scene of the accident. Record video of witness statements. Take pictures of the other party’s insurance card.

All of the evidence you obtain can be used in the settlement process, and even statements given by police in their reports may contradict the evidence your attorney discovers later.

Obtain everything you can in order to strengthen your case.

Keep track of medical bills.

From the initial ambulance ride to surgeries, checkups, rehabilitation, and all points in-between, it will be up to you to keep a running tally of how much everything costs.

You don’t want to overlook any expenses because all must be included in your lawsuit for you to recover damages.

Keep track of time lost at work.

As you recover or find it difficult to get to work—either because of the loss of your vehicle or dealing with the trauma of the accident—you need to be compensated for any lost wages due to the accident. Keep track of missed workdays and tally up what that equates to in lost wages.

4. Get help from an experienced injury attorney right away if you were injured in a car accident

Depending on the accident’s severity, the litigation process can be over fairly quickly, with insurance paying out for damages and covering medical expenses.

However, this isn’t always the case.

You’ll want to share your concerns with your lawyer and let them know how urgently you’ll need money to pay your bills.

Keep in mind: trying to settle too quickly often lowers your car accident settlement amount.

A skilled car accident lawyer will work with you to get the compensation you deserve.

5. Do what is required to maximize the value of your personal injury claim

Something as simple as a missed deadline throughout the legal process can greatly affect your case.

Your priorities are keeping a pain journal, attending medical appointments, and refraining from behavior that can damage your case.

Your attorney will guide you through what steps you should take.

If You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident, Help Is Here

Don’t delay medical treatment if you have been injured in a car accident. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer right away to discuss your case for free.

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