How to Feel in Control After an Auto Accident

September 27, 2012  |  Adriel B. Villarreal

You never really expect to get into an auto accident, even though in the back of your mind you know it’s always a possibility. You can be the best driver in the world, follow all traffic rules and be visually attentive but still, one day – wham! You weren’t prepared for this and feel like you have lost all control; now what?
Try Not to Panic
First, you should remain calm and try your best not to allow stress to take over. It is natural to be in shock at first until you are able to assess the situation. Once you get over your initial reaction, you will be in a better state to see if you have suffered any injuries and if the other driver and passengers have been injured.
Even if you were not badly injured, you should give your statement to the police officer reporting on the accident. You should never admit fault to the accident no matter what the circumstances. Simply tell the officer what happened and that’s it. If the other car involved leaves before the police arrive, make sure you write down the make, model and license number of their car.
After you get home, be sure to contact your insurance company and give them an account of the accident. This is a good time to write down all the details of the accident while they are fresh in your memory; otherwise, it can be hard to recall this information down the road should you need to.
We put together a simple auto accident form that outlines all the information you should obtain and share with the other driver in case of a car accident. Download the form and print it out and then place it in your glove compartment so you have it handy.
Pay Attention to Your Body
After this time, you are typically free to go. If you begin to experience any pain, you should have an ambulance bring you to the emergency room. Sometimes after an auto accident, your adrenaline is running so fast that you don’t feel any pain from injuries inflicted. In fact, it could take days or even weeks for some injuries to present themselves.
It is important to visit a doctor as soon as you experience any symptoms that could have come from the car accident. The most common symptoms are:

  • Neck pain (whiplash)
  • Back pain
  • Headaches (especially if you hit your head)
  • Right ankle pain (from slamming on your brakes)
  • Wrist pain (from bracing the steering wheel)

However, there are often many other symptoms that you may experience that you wouldn’t necessarily connect to the auto accident especially in situations of internal bleeding. It is a good idea to visit your doctor to have your symptoms documented in case they end up being something serious. Be very specific with all of your symptoms.
You Need Legal Help
Whether it is immediately following the accident or even a couple of months down the road, and you notice that an injury sustained in the accident isn’t going away, it is time to contact an auto accident attorney. If the other driver is at fault for the accident, it is their insurance company who is liable for the injuries to your car and your person. Even if the accident was your fault, you may still be able to receive compensation.
It is important to remember that insurance companies are not your friend. They do not want to pay money out to you. They will not go out of their way to help you. This is exactly why you need an auto accident injury attorney who knows the law and whose sole purpose is to be your advocate. This is the role of a personal injury attorney; they will be there when you need them and will always act in your best interest.
Our attorneys at Barna, Guzy & Steffen, LTD. are experienced auto accident attorneys who know the legal process and will work directly with you to protect your best interests. With over 50 years combined experience serving the Minneapolis metro area of Minnesota with their personal injury needs including auto accidents, we’re hear to help.
At the first sign of a problem, you can give us a call. We offer free consultations and we will come to you. You will speak directly with one of our auto accident injury attorneys who will advise you of whether you have a case or not. We will never string you along and will always give you the personalized attention that you deserve. An accident can be tough to deal with, but with us by your side, you won’t be alone.