A car crash can be life-altering, and there’s no shortcut to speed past all the steps of the healing process.
Recovery will take more than just time; it also requires intentionality and consistency. If you’re unsure what you should do to make sure you’re on the right track, then the steps in this article will help guide you.
11 Steps To Car Crash Recovery
#1. Gather Information
Get as much information as you can from the other parties involved and from any witnesses, such as names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, insurance information, plate numbers, etc.
If there are injuries involved or a police report was issued, make sure to get a copy of those as well.
It’s also important to contact your car insurance company if you’ve been in an accident even if your car doesn’t seem to be damaged.
Your provider may still cover damages that result from a collision, such as a side mirror that’s knocked out or chipped paint.
#2. Contact Your Doctor If You’re Injured
Whether it’s just whiplash or something more severe like a broken bone, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
After an accident, your body may be in shock and you might not feel the pain of your injuries right away.
You don’t want to deal with long-term issues because you didn’t go see a doctor after the crash.
#3. Take Pictures Of Your Vehicle And Medical Bills
Whether you’re dealing with car insurance companies or trying to file an injury claim against someone who injured you, photos will become very valuable information later on.
This can also help if you end up filing for bankruptcy and need proof that your medical bills exceed your assets, which is true of many people who have been seriously injured.
Thus, it’s best to take photos before any repairs are made so no one can attempt to take advantage of you.
#4. See A Lawyer
Once you decide to build a case regarding the car accident damages you’ve sustained, it’s best to hire a lawyer as soon as possible.
Try not to make this decision in the heat of the moment without proper consultation and full comprehension of your options.
Even though you need a lawyer soon, take the time to find one who has specialized experience dealing with your concerns.
Don’t make any decisions about getting a personal injury attorney until you’ve spoken with a few lawyers.
You may want to seek compensation for lost wages, car repairs, medical bills, physical therapy or other treatments, and pain and suffering.
It’s common for an insurance company to offer a lump sum settlement, but it’s best not to sign any documents before exploring all your options. Discuss everything with your lawyer before signing anything or making any decisions.
#5. Don’t Discuss The Case With Anyone
Even if you’re close with a certain person, this doesn’t mean they should be privy to sensitive information about your case.
Personal injury lawyers are very mindful of their client’s confidentiality and won’t share any information without securing express consent from you first.
If you’re not careful with whom you share details of the case, there’s always a risk of you saying something that might work against your case without even realizing it.
For this reason, you shouldn’t discuss anything related to your case with anyone outside of your law team until everything is settled.
#6. Take Advantage Of Any Recovery Programs Your Doctor Recommends
Depending on the extent of your injuries, recovering from a car crash can be a long process that requires a lot of patience and hard work.
There are physical therapy programs that can help you recover from injuries that limit your ability to move around normally.
Accidents often have lasting effects on mental health as well, which is why it’s important to seek out emotional support.
#7. Seek Out A Support Group If You Need One
When you’re the victim of a car accident, it can be difficult to find people who understand what you’re going through unless they’ve been in the same situation themselves.
Even when you aren’t directly responsible for the accident, it can still feel like your fault since you were also behind the wheel.
You might feel unsafe without having anyone who understands why this happened to you.
Fortunately, these are the exact experiences that support groups are designed to help you address.
#8. Find A New Place To Live In If You Can’t Drive
If you’ve been seriously injured, it’s not always possible for you to continue living in the same place where the accident occurred.
Maybe you’re dealing with PTSD, which makes driving challenging. Your injuries may also make it too difficult for you to get around without help.
Thus, finding a new home can be one of the things on your list of things to do to recover from a car crash.
#9. Prepare For The Long-Term Effects Of The Accident
Even if your doctor assures you that all of your symptoms are normal, there’s always a chance that they could become chronic problems down the road.
From chronic pain or emotional issues to problems with your memory or concentration, it’s important to realize that the car crash could have long-term effects.
So, make sure you keep all your medical appointments and follow your doctor’s prescriptions.
#10. Keep The Receipts Of All Your Expenses Related To The Accident
Make sure you save all the receipts from your doctor’s visit, medical supply purchases, a new vehicle, etc.
If you end up filing insurance claims, later on, they’ll need proof of how much everything cost you and who paid for it.
This ties directly into the third step in this guide where you save photos of everything and copies of your bills.
#11. Proofread All Statements Before Signing Them
The last thing you want to do after being in a car accident is to sign something without reading it first, especially if it’s something that could affect your legal claims.
This is why you should read all the documents related to your case thoroughly.
This will allow you to make sure everything is right and that nothing incriminating has been said on your behalf.
Depending on how severe your accident was, there are certain steps you need to take to help you recover.
These steps will vary depending on your circumstances. However, this list should at least set you on the right path to begin the process of healing and recovery.