- Assess yourself for injury – It is extremely important to understand that following an accident, your adrenaline is very, very high. Your heart rate is elevated, and your body is in a “fight-or-flight” stage, which leads to your perception of pain going down tremendously! It is safe to say that whatever pain you are experiencing immediately following an accident, it is actually probably DOUBLE what you are experiencing immediately following the accident. The next day when the adrenaline wears off, and the soreness starts to set in, you will know exactly what I am talking about. If you feel ANYTHING pain related following an accident, don’t just brush it off, get it checked out; always be on the side of caution!
- Always Call the Police and File a Report – I cannot stress this one enough. No matter the extent of the damage to you or your vehicle, call the police and get the accident documented. The bottom line is, if it wasn’t documented, it never happened. If you brush off a minor pain in your neck, for example, that over the next couple of days becomes progressively worse, and becomes a problem, and you also never documented the accident; there is essentially NOTHING you can now do days later. **Also- never just allow the person to give you their insurance information, and leave because “they are in a hurry.” I have seen instances where the person gave them out dated information, and false information. It is an easy way for an uninsured person to hang you out to dry!**
- Call your local insurance agent, NOT the 1-800 number immediately- I cannot recommend more highly that if you have insurance through someone nationwide, you form a relationship with a local agent, or the closest representative possible. Keep their direct number in your car, and call them immediately following any accident, no matter how big or small. They need to know you on a first name, personal basis. This will save you time, and frustration as you go through the process of getting the claim handled correctly.
Everything following an accident happens so quickly! You have so many people trying to get information from you in all directions. If you will diligently make sure that these three things are on the forefront following an accident, you can make sure all of your bases are covered. This will ensure that in the event, you are injured, and want to have yourself evaluated and taken care of, the person that was at fault will be responsible for the damages caused to you! If you neglect any of these three steps, you might find yourself liable for something that was not your fault! Don’t be that guy or gal that let the moment get to you; have this process in mind, and follow it, you will be glad that you did! **Also, some insurance policies have what is called Personal Injury Protection (PIP), or MedPay, for just ten to twenty dollars more a month, on your policy. This will cover all medical bills, you sustained as a result of the accident, whether you were at fault, or not! Definitely worth discussing with your agent!!**
Yours in health,
Dr. Grant, drgrantdennis.com, 501-420-2815