· STOP. Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even a minor one. Move your vehicle to a safe place and prevent further accidents by setting up flares, or keeping your flashers on.
· STAY CALM. After a crash, a person may feel a wide range of emotions — shock, guilt, fear, nervousness, or anger — all of which are normal. But take a few deep breaths or count to 10 to calm down. The calmer you are, the better prepared you will be to handle the situation. This is the time to take stock of the accident and try to make a judgment about whether it was a serious one.
· CHECK ON OTHERS INVOLVED. Be certain your passengers are safe and also check on the occupants over the other vehicle
· CALL 911. If there is serious injury, bleeding or loss of consciousness immediately call 911 and ask for medical assistance. Even if there are no serious injuries, it is a good idea to call the police. You may need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company, even if it is just to make a claim for damage to your vehicle. The vehicles involved in the accident should remain where they are, unless they interfere with traffic.
· MAKE AN ACCURATE RECORD. When the police arrive, make sure you tell the investigating officer exactly what happened, to the best of your ability. If you do not know certain facts, tell that to the officer. Do not speculate, guess or misstate any of the facts. If you are asked if you are injured and you are not sure than say so. Often, the pain and injuries from motor vehicle accidents become apparent hours after the actual collision. You should also make sure statements made by other persons involved in the accident are accurate as well.
· TAKE PICTURES. If you have a smart phone or camera in your vehicle take pictures of the vehicles if there is visible damage. If you have visible injuries, you should photograph them as well. You can also take photos of the other drivers, driver’s license, license plate, vehicle registration and insurance information
· EXCHANGE INFORMATION. Typically, the investigating police officer obtains this information. However, if the police do not respond to the accident, you should obtain the name, address and telephone number of all persons involved in the accident, drivers and passengers alike. You should also obtain information about insurance by asking to see the insurance card for all vehicles involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, you should get information from them as well. If police respond to the accident, the investigating officer usually will provide all drivers with a police report number. You can use that number later to obtain the police report. If the accident occurs on a state highway, you must request the report from the state police. If the police are unable to come you may file an accident report on-line in the state of Washington.
· FILE AN INSURANCE CLAIM. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Many policies require immediate reporting and full cooperation. Find out if you have medical benefits as part of your insurance coverage. Primary Injury Protection (PIP) is required by drivers in the state of Washington. This coverage will pay for any medical treatment that is required as the result of the accident.
· SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION. Often, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are not immediately apparent. Most patients report feeling the most pain a day or two following an automobile accident. If you have pain, see you Doctor of Chiropractic for a thorough evaluation before resuming normal activities. Applying ice immediately after the accident 2-3 time per day for 15 minutes will reduce swelling and inflammation.
· KEEP A FILE. Keep all your accident-related documents and information together. This information should include a claim number, the claim's adjuster who is handling the claim, names and phone numbers of all contacts, receipts for a rental car and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
· CONSIDER LEGAL REPRESENTATION. Most injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents heal completely with the proper treatment. Should you have serious injury, become unable to work, or have complications in your recover you may want to consider a personal injury attorney to represent you.
For more information on motor vehicle accidents or whiplash injures please call Northwest Wellness at 2539270660.