10 Steps You Must Follow After a Car Accident

In the United States, over 6 million automobile accidents occur annually, with 1 in 3 accidents entailing injuries to the driver or passengers. Additional to that statistic, 2 out of those 10 accidents involve critical injuries that cannot be taken lightly. The following list embodies 10 steps one must follow to protect oneself as well as the other party involved in the accident.

  1. STOP. Do not drive away from any accidents, even minor ones.
  2. PREVENT FURTHER ACCIDENTS. Establish flares or turn on your flashers. For emergency purposes, always keep a flashlight to keep you safe when your lights don’t operate or you’re within a dark environment.
  3. CALL THE POLICE. Unless the affected vehicles are interfering with the traffic, it is recommended to keep the vehicles where they are. Even if there are no signs of injuries, call the police to file a claim with your insurance company.
  4. STATE AN ACCURATE RECORD. To the best of your ability, tell the police officer exactly what happened while avoiding speculation and guessing (it is appropriate to be unsure of things such as signs of pain or injury). Note: injuries or pain from car accidents become evident hours after the actual crash.
  5. TAKE PHOTOS & GET WITNESS IMFORMATION. If possible, take photos of the vehicle or your body if you notice evident signs of injury. If you cannot take photos at the scene of the automobile accident, immediately take them after. If you can get names, addresses, and cell Phone of witnesses. Video witnesses if they will co-operate and get what they believe happened.
  6. EXCHANGE INFORMATION. For future reference, obtain the name, address, and telephone number of all individuals involved in the accident (even witnesses, if there are any). Additionally, obtain insurance cards for the vehicles involved in the accident. Typically, the investigating officer will provide a police report number for the police report.
  7. REPORT THE ACCIDENT. Report to your insurance company as soon as possible (most policies require immediate reporting). Research whether you have medical benefits such as Med-Pay as part of your insurance coverage.
  8. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION. Because most pains or injuries stemming from the automobile accident are not apparent immediately, most signs of pain are reported a day or two after the accident. It is recommended that you seek medical attention via a family physician or local emergency room. Note: You may attract vital damages to your spinal cord even from a minor impact. If an injury to the head goes untreated, you may suffer from behavioral or cognitive abnormalities.
  9. MAINTAIN A FILE. Maintain all your accident-related documents and information including the claim number, the claim’s adjuster handling the claim, names and phone numbers of all individuals involved in the accident, receipts for a rental car, and other expenses incurred from the accident.
  10. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Consult with your attorney as he or she can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not omitted. Note: It is crucial to consult with your attorney for legal advice before providing statements to your insurance company.

How should you get treated after an automobile accident?

Did you know?

Our bodies remember the impact of the automobile accident for up to 25 years. Although injured body parts will heal overtime via moderate treatments, untreated neurological injuries from the accident are remembered by our bodies for a long time and cause a myriad of symptoms. One experiences after-effect symptoms of cold feet and hands, poor digestion, and pain of unknown cause after 6 months to 1 year from the accident. These functional problems eventually turn into serious pathological problems that will devastate one’s body.

As the first sign of after-effect from the automobile accident, tissue damage in the ligaments, muscles, tendons, discs, cartilage, and nerves occur and could lead to bone fractures. The most common occurrence from the car accident is the Whiplash injury, which typically occurs in the cervical spine (neck). It is an injury in which the neck is bent forward and back, causing the tissues in the back such as the posterior longitudinal ligament, cervical disc, and cervical never to be damaged (additionally, the tissues connected to the front are also damaged). The Whiplash injury causes various symptoms including cervical spine pain, tinnitus, blurred vision, difficulty in concentrating, numbness in arms and hands, discomfort in swallowing food, headache, shoulder pain, back pain, and dizziness. Aside from the symptoms caused by the Whiplash injuries, a myriad of other symptoms may occur depending on the part of the body damaged by the automobile accident.

The second after-effect is the dysfunction of the autonomic nerve system, leading to functional abnormalities of various organs and impaired blood circulation. Due to the problem within the autonomic nervous system, symptoms such as indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, and frequent urination occur.

The third after-effect entails a variety of neuralgia such as radial pain and stiffness in the upper extremities as well as the lower extremities caused by the spinal nerve adhesions, spinal injuries, and spinal disc injuries.

The fourth is shock-induced symptoms of neurosis and psychological disorders (approximately 20-30% of patients from automobile accidents suffer from these symptoms).

As the first step when an automobile accident occurs, it is vital to properly investigate under what circumstances the accident occurred and how the human body was damaged. Additionally, various tests for diagnosis purposes including neurological examination, orthopedic examination, and radiographic examination (MRI) must be performed. The treatment embodies primarily treating the damaged tissue while at the same time finding a neurological abnormality to perform the appropriate treatment.

At Dr. Kim Health Care, we perform a myriad of treatments and techniques to heal the damaged tissues. The treatment methods include, but not limited to, Functional neurological treatment, Chiropractic manipulation, Therapeutic modalities (laser therapy, TENS, EMS, ultrasound, hot pack, hydro-massage, air massage, cervical-lumbar traction, & inter-segmental traction), Massage, and Acupuncture.

In parallel with the treatment of tissue damage, the treatment to restore the abnormal nervous system to normal is also required. 8CM acupuncture (8 Body type Constitution Acupuncture), applied kinesiology treatment, and chiropractic neurological treatment are very effective in treating the aftereffect symptoms resulting from the automobile accident.

The Injury Recall Technique is an essential part of the treatment to restore neurological damage and a torn nervous system. When one’s hand touches something extremely hot, it is one’s reflex that withdraws the hand. This mechanism is known as the Withdrawal Reflex, and a similar form of reflex is created and remembered in our body during an automobile accident. If this reflex is left untreated and one performs an activity similarly to the movement made during the automobile accident, the reflex will then become activated and cause the person to experience the same pain encountered during the accident (even worse, one may not be able to recover fully even with the treatment). In addition, there are cases in which pain is experienced when the patient thinks about the time of the automobile accident. These cases are treated in a similar manner as the Memory Recall Therapy. Therefore, if the memories and reflexes created at the time of the automobile accident are not properly treated, they will cause a sequence of after-effects that last for a very long time. As a result, Memory Recall Therapy is a crucial and fundamental treatment that cannot be omitted in the treatment of automobile accidents.