If you’ve recently been in a minor car accident, then you might be wondering what to do next. Many people are surprised to find out that even a minor accident can cause car accident injuries. You might feel relieved after the accident because you feel fine at the moment, only to start feeling sore or developing a headache in the hours afterward. That’s because any type of car accident can be a shock to your system. A general rule of thumb for even minor car accidents is that if there is any damage to your car, then there is likely damage to your body as well. Here’s what to do after a minor car accident to make sure you stay healthy and get the care you may need.
How to Take Care of Yourself After an Accident
Take any car accident seriously, no matter how minor or inconvenient. While you may be tempted to come to an agreement with the other driver and not wait for the police, you risk doing yourself a disservice. Here’s how to take care of yourself after an accident and make sure you are taken care of both physically and financially.
Check yourself for any injuries
The first thing you want to do after a car accident is to check yourself for any injuries. You may not expect to find any injuries from a minor car accident, but even fender-benders can result in car accident injuries like whiplash. After you assess the situation, make sure you are in a safe place and are out of the way of any oncoming traffic to avoid further risk to yourself and others.
Call law enforcement for an official report
While you wait for the police to arrive, you may want to start jotting down notes and taking photos or videos. Gather as much information as you can about the accident, including any type of damage to your vehicle, to report to the insurance company and any physical concerns to speak with your doctor about as soon as you can. An official police report will also be highly detailed and will be used by your insurance company. Be sure to let the police officer know if you suspect any type of injury.
Take note of pain or other symptoms
In the hours after the accident, you might start to notice some pain and discomfort settle in. That’s because the shock and adrenaline of getting into even a minor car accident can actually mask pain and other symptoms of an injury. As you start to relax and the adrenaline wears off, you might start to realize you feel worse than you thought. It is helpful to jot down when you first recognize any pain or other symptoms and make note if they start to get worse over time or with certain movements.
Seek treatment for car accident injuries
If you are concerned at all about your physical health after a car accident, then don’t hesitate to seek out treatment for a possible injury. Car accident chiropractors treat injuries from minor car accidents often, and they have the tools and expertise to diagnose and treat your injuries properly. A car accident doctor will also understand the importance of completing paperwork properly so that you can submit any necessary documentation to your insurance company as needed.
Avoid Making These Mistakes After a Car Accident
Here are a few mistakes you want to avoid if you’ve been in a minor car accident.
Don’t turn down medical assistance at the scene
Some people want to be polite or don’t want to be a bother if paramedics arrive at the scene. However, turning down any type of medical assistance at the scene can actually hurt your case in the future if you do end up suffering an injury. Instead, accept any help from paramedics or first responders at the scene, which will demonstrate you are taking your health and well-being seriously.
Don’t assume you can’t get injured in a minor accident
Often, people are surprised when they get injured in what they consider to be a minor car accident. Even a minor accident can cause a car accident injury, especially if you weren’t wearing a seat belt. However, whiplash is one of the most common car accidents, and it affects the head and neck, neither of which are protected by safety features in the vehicle.
Don’t ignore signs and symptoms of an injury
If you start to develop headaches, feel stiff and sore in your neck and back, or experience other signs and symptoms of a car accident injury, then visit a car accident doctor near you as soon as possible. At Killeen Affordable Chiropractic, our team of car accident chiropractors is available to assist you after any type of car accident and help ensure you get the quality care you need for an effective recovery.