What To Expect Following A Car Accident
Every day, thousands of people are hurt in automobile accidents. Injuries from those accidents also vary greatly and can be as minor as a few cuts and bruises or as serious as spinal injuries, brain trauma, and even death. For that reason, it is important that you seek medical attention immediately following a car accident.
Here is what you can expect after a car accident takes place and what you should do to make it through.
Check For Injuries
Following the accident, everyone should be assessed for injuries. 911 should be contacted for any serious injuries, and the police should be called in to make an official report about the accident. If everyone is okay, then all operational vehicles have to be moved to the shoulder of the road for safety.
Exchange Of Information
Everyone involved in the accident will then exchange information and document the details of the accident. However, you also want to limit your interaction with the other party as much as possible and avoid admitting any guilt or assigning blame to the other driver.
When exchanging information, make sure to get the name and insurance information of the other driver, witness contact information, photos of the scene and the damage, the police report, and police report number.
Filing A Claim
Now is the time to decide if you are going to file a claim. If the accident was your fault and there was only minor damage, some might choose to pay the other driver in cash. However, this can turn out to be costlier than going through the insurance claims process, so file a claim with your insurance company instead.
If you live in a no-fault state like Florida, then your personal insurance protection (PIP) coverage will pay for your injuries and the injuries of those who were in the car with you. However, if you experienced more severe injuries as a result of the accident, you can still file a lawsuit later on.
Injuries Following A Car Accident
The day or possibly several days after the accident, people can experience shock. Shock is different for everyone, but some of the more common symptoms include a feeling of numbness, emotional distress, and fear, which can ultimately result in unpredictable mood swings.
Internal bleeding and bruising, which is also referred to as seatbelt syndrome, might not be noticeable for between 24 hours and up to 3 days after the accident. Brain and neck injuries can take as long as 8 days to show up and may also prove to be fatal. Concussion symptoms might also not show up for hours or days following the accident.
That is why seeking medical attention immediately is crucial when you get into an accident. If you wait or don't seek help at all, your injuries end up being far more serious than you could have imagined. Many people find that they are unable to detect their injuries because of the adrenaline that often pumps through the body after an accident. So even if you feel fine, you should still have a doctor assess your condition.
Auto Insurance Rates
Something else to expect after an accident is an increase in car insurance rates. Some have been found to rise significantly after an accident. It depends on the severity of the accident and your insurance company. However, some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness, which means you can avoid higher premiums.
If you experience higher premiums, you may want to shop around for a lower-priced insurance policy to make it more affordable for you in the long run.