Like most Americans, I have been in a car accident myself. Just a small handful of them. In fact, only this past fall my wife and I were in an accident. I also treat people every day that have been in car accidents. So I can give you some advice based on what I’ve seen and experienced on what you want to do if (and when) you’re in a car accident in the future. If you haven’t yet read Part 1 of this series then you’ll definitely want to learn about the first 3 important steps to take after a car accident by clicking here.
# 4: Call 911, or *55 in Missouri or several other states.
Not every state uses *55, and there are even some states that even for mobile use, don’t use 911. If you’re planning on going on a trip, say you’re planning on flying or driving to another state, it would be a good idea to just look up online if those states use 911 for roadside emergencies or not. You can also call roadside assistance. A lot of time when you’re entering a state, it’s posted that you can call *55 or 911 for emergencies. 911 is usually reserved for medical, life threatening emergencies, sometimes the lines can get tied up a little bit. So *55 is great, meant for non-emergency, non-life threatening emergency roadside.
# 5: Get legal representation.
Whenever you’re in a car accident, you’re going to be getting tons and tons of mail from the insurance companies wanting to get statements from you, wanting to get a settlement from you. It can get really overwhelming when you’re just trying to get along and go about your daily life. One of the things that I highly recommend is to get legal representation. It’s a major headache to get through a car accident, and then not only try to recover but also deal with your car needingto be repaired. So get legal representation.
A lot of time people will say, “I can’t afford a lawyer.” The good news is that every attorney that I’ve worked with regarding injury from a car accident works on a percentage of your settlement payout. Insurance companies will often low-ball their settlement offers to the people that are involved in a car accident. By getting an attorney you’re taking the headache away from you having to deal with all the papers coming in and not knowing if you’re signing something that could end up hurting you in the future. You’re also going to have somebody that’s going to get a better settlement for you. It’s good to have somebody that’s an expert in that arena to help guide you through that and to take a lot of that off your plate.
Car accidents have the potential to affect you for the rest of your life. Getting in and getting the proper rehabilitation right away is very, very important. In the car accident my wife and I were in last fall, my wife suffered a disc injury in her neck. After being forced to take a month off of work from her dental practice she was able to return, but she now experiences fatigue at the end of the day, where prior to the accident she did not. In some cases lifelong disabilities from car accidents are much worse, and in many cases they are worse due to lack of medical, chiropractic or physical therapy care.
Don’t let this be the case with you – know the steps to take after a car accident to cover you both physically and legally/financially. If you haven’t already read Part 1 of this blog, please read it and take some notes on the first 3 important steps to do after a car accident!