There’s no way around it: accidents happen, no matter how careful you drive. When you are involved in an accident, you need to be prepared for what comes next, whether the collision was your fault or not. Preparation is the first step towards protection from false accusations and uncooperative drivers. Also, knowing what to expect in such situations can help speed up the post-accident recovery process as well.
In the hours and days following an auto accident, your thinking may be distorted with endless “what if” scenarios. While steps such as contacting law enforcement, getting immediate medical attention, and checking your car for damage may come as a reflex, you run the risk of forgetting other major steps to take in the aftermath of the accident.
Here are five steps you should take after you are involved in a vehicle accident in New Port Richey.
Acquire Competent Legal Representation
For car accident cases, the statute of limitation is in play, and therefore, time is of the essence. Getting an experienced car accident lawyer in New Port Richey will help you get an honest evaluation of the accident and the possible legal outcomes. They will also inform you of your options and enable you to take the most appropriate course of action under the circumstances.
After such an ordeal, there is obviously a lot to deal with. Acquiring a competent attorney will allow you to focus on your physical and mental recovery, while they deal with the legal side of things. A great attorney can also deal with the complexities involved with insurance claims, making the recovery process smoother for you.
Prioritize Your Health
Seeking immediate medical care after an accident is mandatory and many people know to take this step. However, some mild or underlying health symptoms may crop up in the days or weeks following the crash. Even when you aren’t in pain, it’s crucial to go for regular checkups in the weeks following an accident in case anything develops.
In most cases, your primary care physician may not be the best medical expert to see after an auto accident. While most general practitioners are adequately trained to treat injuries, they may not have the necessary experience to deal with common accident-related injuries such as concussions and whiplash. Instead, find a specialized auto injury doctor with experience in diagnosing and treating such injuries.
Be Honest When Giving Your Account
After your accident, many people will need to have an accurate account of the events that led to the accident, including your lawyer, the insurance company and the police. Always tell the truth in such instances, even if you were the one at fault. In New Port Richey, lying to the insurance company or law enforcement is a crime that could attract hefty penalties.
When giving the account, don’t try to guess about any details you are unsure about. They could be incorrect and affect your outcome. It may also be interpreted as lying. Stick to the facts, and let the law enforcement officers and your auto accident lawyer handle the rest. Maintain composure even when falsely accused by the other driver, as witnesses present at the scene will help to uncover the truth.
Begin an Auto Insurance Claim
If you’ve been in a car accident in New Port Richey, it’s crucial to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. Letting them know what happened early enough will speed up the claims process. The insurance provider will also help in other ways, based on your insurance policy agreement.
More likely than not, your insurance provider will want to inspect your vehicle, as well as the other driver’s insurer. This helps prepare a budget estimate. These days, most insurance companies have embraced technology, and have remote inspection tools in the form of phone apps. Find out what documents you need to provide the insurer to make sure you get what you are entitled to under the state’s policy.
Create a Healthy Support System
Accidents can take a huge toll on both your physical and mental health. The road to complete recovery is not easy but is achievable. Surrounding yourself with friends and family members who can help you in the healing process goes a long way in making it bearable. They will be there to cheer you up and keep you motivated to keep going every day.
It’s perfectly normal to have trauma-related conditions develop following the accident, such as PTSD and anxiety. It is advisable to seek additional help from a professional counselor in case of any unresolved mental or emotional issues in the aftermath. Ask your primary care physician to recommend one if you don’t have anyone in mind.
You’re Not in It Alone
The events after a car accident can be quite overwhelming. However, with the assistance of your friends, family, and your car accident lawyer, the recovery process becomes that much easier. The sooner you reach out to them, the faster you can begin moving on with your life in a positive and healthy way.