Car accidents aren’t any fun. In fact, they are one of the most stressful things a person can go through. The actual incident is rough enough – even if no one is severely injured, your body will most likely go into shock. And the aftermath can be the worst. People often need to go through a grueling rehabilitation process, and that’s not even to mention the emotional trauma that a car accident can cause.
Some people may suffer from PTSD symptoms and this may lead to them being unable to drive confidently or at all in the future. On top of all of that, it can be confusing, since the procedures for car accidents tend to differ in various places, although the general process stays the same. You’ll need to determine what to do depending on where you live. Find articles that outline the steps you need to take, such as this one: 4 Steps to do After a Car Accident While in West Virginia. However, there are a few things you should do in order to make the healing process easier after a car accident, no matter where you are. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Seek medical attention
No matter whether you have any clear injuries or not, medical attention is a must as soon as you’ve been in an accident. We often don’t notice any damage to our bodies until a few days after the accident, due to the shock affecting us. Medical reports may also be necessary for possible insurance claims, and to allow you to take leave from work if necessary.
Get your insurance sorted
Hopefully, you have car insurance. If you do, this is one of the first things you need to get sorted out. You need to inform your insurance company that there has been an accident as soon as possible, since insurance companies often only allow you to report a car accident during a certain window after it has taken place. If any other vehicles or people were involved, get their insurance details as well. They may be liable to pay for some of your damage repairs if they were responsible for the accident, and vice versa. Getting this sorted out is sure to put your mind at ease. Make sure to have all necessary documents in place before putting in a car insurance claim.
Arrange repairs or replacements
If you rely heavily on your car every day, as most people do, it can be a terrible inconvenience to be stuck without a car. You’ll either need to arrange public transport or a lift, or you’ll need to rent a car. None of these are ideal options, since they’ll either cost you a lot or have you struggling with the temporary loss of your independence. As soon as you get the necessary information from the various insurance companies, you should see about getting any damages repaired, or getting a new car if yours was written off.
Write up an accident report
You’ll need to go to a police station and inform them that a car accident has taken place. For this, you’ll likely need at least the drivers’ licenses and registration numbers of anyone involved in the accident. Once you’re there, you’ll need to fill in an accident report. Be honest and fill in everything you remember, even the small details. It’s also a good idea to get the contact details of any witnesses that may have stopped at the accident scene before you leave for the police station, in case the police want their witness statements as well. You may also need these if you want to fill in a car accident demand letter. This is necessary if your car has done up damage and you believe the other driver was responsible. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can use a template.
Get a lawyer
If other parties are holding you responsible for their damage, or if you’re struggling to get any money you’re owed from them, you may need to look into getting professional legal help. Lawyers will help you know your rights and ensure that you’re not being taken advantage of. They can also help you to handle any accusations that may come your way. If things advance very far and end up in court for some reason, legal representation is also advisable.
Look after your mental health
In the time following a car accident, most people only focus on getting their physical health back to where it was. They go to doctor’s appointments and physio, and do everything else necessary in order to aid their recovery. This is great, don’t get me wrong, but we often forget that our mental health is just as important. More often than not, your mental health will take a toll after a car accident.
People often suffer from feelings of guilt and anxiety, and they can even be a victim of flashbacks or nightmares. If you’re feeling severe changes in your mental health, consider seeing a therapist. There’s no shame in it at all – it will help you cope with the aftermath. If you feel you’re doing okay, you should still take it easy and take good care of yourself. Take some time off work if you feel the need – it can be very draining to go through such an emotional experience. Talk to loved ones and practice selfcare.
Get emotional support
This one goes hand in hand with looking after your mental health. People who are in car accidents often have a tendency to isolate themselves from society. However, you need people who are willing to be there for you. Your first instinct may be to push them away, but they’ll be able to help you talk through things. Being able to talk to people close to you will help you work through what happened as well as process it. Whether it was a big or small accident, it has likely affected you in some way. Allow people in and you may be surprised at how much it helps to not deal with things alone.