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There are more than 6 million accidents every year in the United States, so it’s nonsense to think you won’t ever get in one. You can get into an automobile accident out of nowhere, and at any time. Nobody ever expects it until something strikes their car, and they’re left dazed and confused.

Knowing what to do after an automobile accident can seem impossible since it’s so traumatic. Trying to put your common sense back together after an accident can feel like trying to put your car back together piece by piece. Few can withstand the shock from an accident well enough to take the right steps afterward.

Not only do you need to ensure your own safety, but also the safety of your occupants and anyone else involved. After getting into an accident, you need to take steps to ensure that everyone is safe — especially yourself. The insurance filings and potential court cases following an accident can be just as dangerous as the accident itself.

Prepare yourself for an automobile accident by reading below to learn how to stay safe after an accident, and what you should do after one.

Make Sure Everyone is Okay

The first step in any car accident is to check yourself and anyone in the car with you for injuries. If you think there may be something wrong, get medical attention before doing anything.  Even if you don’t feel immediate pain, be careful as shock and adrenaline can mask pain.

If someone is hurt, make sure to let 911 know. The quicker you ask for help, the quicker help can get to you and an ambulance can be dispatched.,

The Next Step is to Call the Cops

Once you have your medical needs attended too, the next step after being involved in a car accident is simple: call the cops and get an accident report. If your phone works after a car accident, it be against your ear even as you exit the vehicle. Your first instinct after an accident should be to call 911, both to insure you get medical care and to insure there is a police report to document the accident or incident.

Once the police are notified that you were in an accident, they’ll be able to walk you through how safely handle the situation. If you suspect that you or anyone else is injured, you’ll also be able to ask for an ambulance. Making sure that help is on the way is the most important step after getting in an accident.

You never know if you have the time to wait for help after an accident, so make sure it gets there as quickly as possible by immediately calling the police.

Getting Into an Automobile Accident is Traumatic

After you reach for your phone and call the police, you should double-check yourself for injuries. Car accidents are traumatic, and as a result, most people go into shock after an accident. It can be difficult to think after an accident, and many people won’t feel anything at all as the adrenaline starts coursing through their veins.

Try to move your legs before stepping out of the car. See if they can support your weight, and try to move your arms. Only after you’re confident that you’re uninjured should you check on other people. Trying to get out of the car with a severe injury may make it worse, and it will hurt you.

Don’t be Afraid to Talk to a Therapist — It May be Covered

Physical trauma isn’t the only kind of injury people may suffer as a result of an automobile accident. Many people may develop mild PTSD, depression, or worse after a car accident. These kinds of mental illnesses may develop for a variety of reasons.

Usually, people have trouble overcoming the realization that their lives can be cut off in a moment after a car accident. They prove to people that danger is everywhere, and some people have trouble accepting that as a part of their lives. For others, their car may be tied to their income and losing it may cost them more than just an engine and four wheels.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to a therapist after a car accident, if you need it. There are situations when you may be able to sue for the costs of seeing them, too!

Photographers Are Made by Accidents

After calling the police, you need to start preparing for when you file a claim with your insurance company. Your insurance company will want pictures of the damage and will want to see the incident for themselves. You can speed up the claim process by taking pictures of the accident right after it happens.

Be sure to take pictures of your car from all angles. If there is any severe damage to your car, make sure to focus on it so that the insurance company will be able to figure out how much your claim is worth, quicker.  Also get pictures of the other person and thier car or truck in case they try and deny involvement.

Before You Contact Your Insurance Company

If you have been injured or even think there is an injury, make a free call to an attorney like the Mastrangelo Law Offices.  After the situation settles down and you can think straight, make sure to actually file your claim. Most insurance companies make it easy to file a claim online, but you can file one by visiting an office too. You’ll be expected to describe how the accident happened, and submit the pictures you took.

Processing your claim can take weeks or months, depending on what you submitted and the insurance company you have.  You’ll just have to be patient while your insurance company figures how who is at fault, and how to handle the situation.

Contact The Other Person Too

Most people know to exchange information with the other person after an accident, too. Not many realize that they should also make sure to call that person while they’re with them. Some people try to lie about their contact information and will give you a fake number to avoid having to deal with the accident.

Trying to call their phone on the spot will verify that they gave you their actual information. And if they give you an incorrect number, you’ll be able to ask them for their real number on the spot.

Staying Safe is the Most Important Step

Getting into an automobile accident is never a fun experience. They are chaotic situations which remind people that their regular life is fragile and that everything can change in an instead. No matter how routine a car accident may be for police or EMT services, they’re serious situations that can traumatize the people involved.

And just like how accidents themselves are chaotic, so are the events following them. Both sides usually try to pin the fault on the other person, and what is results is a clash of people presenting evidence and arguing their innocence. It can seem impossible to handle while recovering from an automobile accident.

That’s why you should hire a lawyer if you’re involved in a car accident. A lawyer will help you navigate a complex, legal system when you need it most. Contact us, and we will work to represent you after an accident, so you can focus on recovering!