Most states have laws that require an individual not to leave the scene of a traffic accident without first stopping to see whether there are damages or injuries.
Here are the 8 things you should do if you are involved in an auto accident:
- If you are injured and feel you need emergency medical attention, call 911 immediately. If you think you are not hurt, follow the rest of the steps but pay close attention to the last step – you may be injured and not know it or feel it immediately after the accident.
- Call the police immediately and report the accident.
- Get the other driver’s contact information and insurance information and write it down so you won’t forget it.
- Take photos of the accident with your smartphone.
- Look around to see if there were witnesses to the accident and if so, get their names and contact information and give it to the police officer that comes to handle your accident.
- Write down any notes of the events that took place before and after the accident while they are fresh in your mind. Put a small notebook or writing pad and pen in your auto glovebox so that you will have paper and pen for your information gathering. This will help you keep all your information in one place, making it handy for you to give all the information at once to the insurance company and the police.
- Call your insurance company.
- See a doctor anyway … even if you don’t feel like you were hurt.
You may not think you were injured. Or you may feel your injuries are slight or non-existent. But this is usually not the case. Frequently, people do not feel pain immediately after an automobile accident. You may not be stiff and in pain until the next day. And, pain sometimes takes several days or even weeks to appear.
If you feel the slightest ache, pain, or stiffness, you should seek medical treatment immediately. A doctor will be able to assess your injuries, the severity of them, and get you the treatment that you need.
Some common signs of an auto injury that may develop afterwards include:
- Neck pain
- Stiffness of the neck and shoulders
- Dizziness and fatigue
- Blurred vision and/or difficulty concentrating
- Ringing in the ears
- Pain when moving your head
There may be additional things you will need to do besides these 8 on the list above. Consult with your insurance agent and your family attorney prior to an accident for their advice and directions on additional things they may need you to do if or when you are involved in an auto accident.
At AFC Doctors Express, we can treat any urgent medical need you have but keep in mind with any accident, whether it be auto, a slip and fall at work, or a strain or sprain at home, we may still need to send you to see a specialist or send you on to the emergency room based on our tests, x-rays, and the doctor’s evaluation and diagnosis.
As always, AFC Doctors Express in Memphis is open 7 days a week from 8 am until 8 pm with doctors on staff every day of the week.