Motor vehicle accidents are unfortunate events that involve two or more cars (sometimes even one vehicle), semi-trucks, and other types of motor vehicles. What’s even more unfortunate is that they’re pretty common in the United States, and many are even fatal. Of course, safe driving habits can prevent these accidents, but not everyone practices safe driving. If you’re ever involved in a car accident, here are five parties that you should call afterward.
Usually, the first number dialed after a car accident is 911. This is because 911 will connect you to an operator and they can send the proper emergency services to the scene of the accident. Most states require that the police be called, no matter the severity of the accident, and dialing 911 and reporting a car accident will send police your way if it’s required by law.
Emergency medical services can also be sent your way if the accident was severe enough to cause injuries to any of the other parties involved. Some car accidents can result in fires, and fire trucks will have to be sent to the scene of the accident. The bottom line is that calling 911 will bring you whatever services you need.
Emergency medical services will treat injuries at the scene, but not all injuries sustained in automobile accidents show up right away. For this reason, it’s important to call your primary care physician (PCP) and make an appointment to get checked out after your car accident. If you can’t get an appointment with your PCP, you can visit an urgent care center instead since they accept walk-in patients.
Car accidents can lead to soft tissue injuries, which are abnormally tense muscles— which muscles tend to do automatically when in a wreck. Visiting a doctor right away ensures that you’ll get proper treatment and also the proper documentation that you may need later.
#3: Insurance Company
Whether you’re the cause of a motor vehicle accident or not, you should always contact your car insurance company. They’re going to want a copy of the police report that was filed at the scene of the accident, as well as additional documentation, such as photos of your car. They’re also going to need the insurance information of the other party/parties involved in the accident.
If you weren’t at fault, the other insurance company will be responsible for compensating you for your damages and injuries. On the other hand, if you were at fault, your insurance rates may increase. Also, you may want to hold off on accepting any compensation if you weren’t at fault.
Unfortunately, car accidents can result in legal disputes with the other party/parties involved, and they can also lead to insurance companies ripping you off— all in addition to vehicle damage and possible bodily injury. This is why you may also need to call a car accident lawyer, also known as a personal injury lawyer. Just keep in mind that “personal injury” also covers slips and falls, medical malpractice, and workers’ compensation, so make sure the lawyer you call handles car accidents as well.
Another tip to keep in mind is to hire a local attorney, versus a national one who may have an office in your area. This also applies if you’re visiting an area, such as Chicago, but live in a different part of the state or country— you should hire a lawyer from Chicago.
#5: Mental Health Professional
No matter how minor a car accident may be, it can leave lasting impacts on you mentally, as well as physically. Another healthcare professional to contact after a car accident would be a mental health professional, such as a therapist. Some people can develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) after a car accident because it’s considered a traumatic event. This can lead to anxiety, trouble sleeping, and other mental disturbances, so caring for your mental health afterward is just as important as caring for your physical health.
Of course, you may also need to call family members and friends to update them on what happened and your condition, but 911 is usually the first number that should be called after a motor vehicle accident. Once you’ve reported the accident to the proper authorities and have been checked out by emergency medical services (if necessary), you should see a physician to ensure that you have no injuries or that they are treated. You’ll also want to take care of all legal aspects of your accident, and don’t forget that your mental health is just as important as your physical health.