“The negative effects of combat were nightmares, and I’d get jumpy around certain noises and stuff, but you’d have that after a car accident… Life’s filled with trauma. You don’t need to go to war to find it; it’s going to find you. We all deal with it, and the effects go away after a while. At least they did for me.” – Sebastian Junger
This quotation by Sebastian Junger equates the after-effects of a motor vehicle accident to the negative consequences of being a soldier and going to war. Both returning war veterans and motor vehicle accident victims are suspectable to developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
According to Dennis J. Butler, PhD., H. Steven Moffic, MD and Nick W. Turkal, MD, motor vehicle accidents have become the primary cause of PTSD since the Vietnam War. They also note that the majority of Americans will be involved in a car accident at least once in their lives. And, 25% of this tranche of Americans will get caught in an accident that results in serious injuries.
Therefore, the question that must be asked and answered in this context is what should you do directly after a motor vehicle accident, especially within the context of the fact that you will be in shock from the impact of the crash?
By way of answering this question, let’s consider the following points as a guide on what to do after an accident. It is also important to note that these points are in no particular order as several will occur concurrently:
Wait until the car has come to a stop
The first thing to do is to wait until your vehicle has come to a halt. Do not leave the scene of the accident under any circumstances until the attending police officers give you the go-ahead to leave.
The next step is to evaluate whether you can get out of the car or not. Take the car keys out of the ignition, unclip your seatbelt, open the car door and maneuver yourself out of the vehicle.
There is always a risk that the car engine will catch fire. Therefore, you need to get out of the car as quickly as possible after it has stopped. If you are trapped in the car, you will have to wait until the rescuers arrive to help you out.
Collect witness statements and the other drivers’ details
If you can get out of the car, and you are not seriously injured, the next step is to exchange contact details with all of the other drivers involved in the accident. It is also important to take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle license numbers before the cars are towed away.
Contact an accident insurance attorney
Once the paramedics have treated you and your car has been towed away, the next step is to hire a Los Angeles Allstate insurance lawyer to manage the legal processes for you.
These include submitting a claim from your motor vehicle insurance company and filing a personal injury lawsuit to cover the cost of any time off work and any medical costs that are not covered by your medical insurance.
These pointers are just a few of the more essential steps to follow post-accident. However, the pertinent point of this discussion is as follows:
Your attorney is experienced at dealing with the insurance companies as well as in filing personal injury claims at the civil court on your behalf. Therefore, it is advisable to allow him/her to attend to all of the insurance details.