What Steps Should You Take To Recover After A Car Accident?

What Steps Should You Take To Recover After A Car Accident?

On Behalf of | Sep 9, 2022 | Car Accident |

An accident is not an everyday event. Accordingly, a great number of people involved in accidents do not know what to do, which is why we are providing the following guideline to use as reference.

STEP ONE
MOVE TO A SAFE LOCATION OR CONTACT LAW ENFORCEMENT

First, take a minute, breathe, and collect yourself before getting out of your car. If you are seriously injured and not able to move, wait for help.

Minor car accidents and rear-end car accident

If the accident is a minor rear-end collision, and you are able to move your vehicle, it is important to protect the safety of all involved from oncoming traffic. So, move the vehicles involved in the car accident to a safe place, such as a parking lot or the side of the road (if it is safe to do so).

Major car accidents and intersection collisions

If the accident occurs at an intersection, is a serious accident, or your vehicle is disabled, the vehicles should be left in their position in order to allow law enforcement to come to the scene, investigate and prepare a traffic collision report.

In Los Angeles, there are various law enforcement entities, each of whom have their own jurisdiction. For example, if the accident occurs in the Santa Clarita Valley, you will need to contact the Sheriff’s Department. However, if the accident occurs in the San Fernando Valley, you will need to contact LAPD. Finally, if the accident occurs on the freeway, you will need to contact CHP.

What happens if you call law enforcement, but are told that they will not come to the scene to investigate? In that case, take photographs of the scene and the position of the cars, from multiple angles, before moving your car (if your car is not disabled) or having your car towed.

STEP TWO
EXCHANGE INFORMATION

Minor car accidents and rear-end car accident

The drivers involved in the car accident must exchange information. This includes names, addresses, driver license numbers and insurance information. Best practice is to simply take a photo of each other’s driver’s license and insurance card.

When speaking with the other driver, never discuss or argue about the accident.

Major car accidents and intersection collisions

Check with all occupants involved is see if anyone is injured. Do not move anyone who may be unconscious, or who complains of back or neck pain, because moving them may exacerbate the injury. If warranted, call for an ambulance or paramedics.

Once everyone is safe and stable, then exchange the required information, i.e. names, addresses, driver license numbers and insurance information.

After exchanging information, assess the damage to all vehicles involved in the car accident. This includes taking photographs of all vehicles involved.

If law enforcement comes to the scene to prepare a report, whether it’s the Sheriff (Santa Clarita Valley), LAPD (San Fernando Valley), or CHP (the freeway), make sure you obtain the traffic collision report number and write down the names and badge numbers of the officers involved in the investigation.

If there are any witnesses to the accident, obtain their information, including names and telephone numbers.

STEP THREE
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION

Minor car accidents and rear-end car accident

It is usual if you don’t feel pain right away, or even the same day, because your body is amped with adrenaline. However, when the body starts to relax, which is generally the next day or two, then pain will likely start.

If you feel pain, it is very important for you to be checked by a professional. Too often, drivers injured in car accidents will think “I’ll just take a few Motrin and the pain will go away.” Medication is not treatment, meaning that anti-inflammatory medication, such as Motrin, may help reduce the pain, but it will not resolve the underlying issue.

The human spine has a natural curve in the neck (cervical) and back (lumbar). Often times, a car accident will change the curvature of the spine. In rear-end collisions, the curvature of the spine in the neck often straightens out – this is commonly known as “whiplash”.

In a whiplash injury, medication can only help reduce the pain, but it will NEVER fix the curvature of the spine, and if the curvature is not corrected, you are now placing extraneous weight on the spine, which will damage your spine overtime.

A whiplash injury often requires treatment by a chiropractor or a physical therapist, who will realign the spine with the correct curvature.

Needless to say, always follow your health care provider’s advice and do not skip your treatment.

Major car accidents and intersection collisions

If you have not suffered any broken bones, but experience symptoms of numbness or tingling in your hands or legs, you may be suffering from a pinched nerve. If you experience such symptoms, you should consult with an orthopedic or neurosurgeon doctor, who will likely order an MRI to determine the cause of the ailment.

STEP FOUR
DOCUMENT YOUR DAMAGES

Keep a journal

We advise our clients to keep a journal, documenting their pain, suffering, inconvenience, etc. This will help document the daily struggles that our clients go through while recovering from their injuries.

The journal will also help refresh your mind about your struggles if the case ends up in a lawsuit and you need to undergo a deposition.

Keep receipts

Never use cash to pay for anything related to your damages because it is difficult to document or prove that you incurred the cost.

That being said, if you are buying medication from the pharmacy, you can pay with cash as long as you keep the receipt for your records. However, if you hire anyone to help around the house for chores that you would normally undertake, such as a cleaning person or a gardener, you need to write them a check or use a credit card in order to document the expense.

STEP FIVE
NO SOCIAL MEDIA

No posts on social media, for at least 6 months. This means:

• No posts about the car accident;
• No posts about your injuries;
• No posts about your recovery; and
• No posts about your daily activities.

People often think “As long as I don’t post about the accident or my injuries, I’m fine.” No because adjusters and defense attorneys will search your social media posts and they will use posts of your daily activities to attack you.

STEP SIX
CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY

Insurance companies have experienced adjusters, whose job is to pay as little as possible in order to compensate you for your injuries and damages. So, how do you protect yourself?

You protect yourself by hiring an experienced personal injury/accident attorney, such as Mason Rashtian and The Mason Law Firm. We will protect your rights, make sure that you get the proper medical care, and get you compensated for your pain, suffering and inconvenience.

Because we work on a contingency basis, there is no money out of your pocket. We only get paid when there is a recovery on the case.

We can be reached at (661) 476-5678 or (855) MASON-LA (855-627-6652)