Every year, more than 10 million auto collisions occur in the United States. Being involved in an accident, even a small one, can be a distressing experience and make it difficult to think and act correctly. So it’s imperative that you have a game plan ahead of time, so you can take appropriate action if you get into an accident.
Here at Tulsa Accident Care Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, auto accident specialist Robert Mitchell, MD, and our team of compassionate medical professionals provide top-quality auto accident care. If you get injured in an accident, we can give you a prompt diagnosis and provide the care you need. Here are some things you should keep in mind in case you get into an auto accident.
Move safely off the road
Pull your vehicle over to the shoulder and out of the way of incoming vehicles. If you’re unable to move your car, get yourself and anyone else involved in the collision to a safe location away from the road.
Check for injuries
Check for apparent injuries in yourself and any passengers in your vehicle. If anyone is injured, either in your vehicle or in another vehicle involved in the collision, call 911. If you're seriously hurt, don't move until assistance arrives.
Collect vital information
If possible, take images of documents — such as driver's licenses and insurance information — with your cell phone camera. If you’re unable to take pictures, write down the information. Record names, addresses, and phone numbers, and also record information regarding the other cars involved, such as the years, makes, models, colors, license plate numbers, and vehicle identification numbers (VINs).
Report the accident
Note the name, badge number, and agency of the officer who responds to your accident and prepares the auto accident report. Make a note of the report number as well. Within a day or two of the crash, you should be able to call the law enforcement agency and get a copy of the report.
Contact your insurance company
Notify your insurer as soon as possible. You may be asked for a statement by your insurer. Avoid making admissions of guilt or assigning blame. Don't put a label on your injuries. Keep your focus on the facts. Even your own insurance company may attempt to depict your accident and injuries as less serious than they are in order to justify settling a claim you file for a lower amount.
Seek medical attention
If you know you’re injured, then you obviously need to get medical care right away. However, even if you feel fine, it’s still critical that you get evaluated. Certain injuries may not cause immediate symptoms. In fact, it's not uncommon for people who have been in small accidents to not notice physical symptoms for days, weeks, or even months after the incident.
After an accident, your body's "fight or flight" response kicks in, which can mask symptoms of injury. Aside from the endorphin effect, car accidents frequently result in injuries to the soft tissues, such as the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. And these injuries can take some time to manifest.
So no matter the severity of the accident or how you feel, it’s imperative that you get examined right away. If everything checks out, then you can have peace of mind that you’re OK. And if your provider does find an issue, you can begin treatment promptly.
If you’re injured in an auto accident, rely on the experts at Tulsa Accident Care Center to help you recover. Call 918-888-8080 or book an appointment online today.