Auto accidents are some of the scariest events a person can go through in their life. One minute, you’re okay, and the next, you’re confused, standing on the side of the road and unable to comprehend what just happened to you. If you’ve been injured, that fear jumps even more.
Sometimes injuries sustained are apparent – you are bleeding, disoriented, or feel trapped in the car. If this happens, immediate treatment at a hospital is needed. However, even if you haven’t sustained apparent injuries, you still need to be checked out by paramedics on-site to ensure you are okay to go home or seek treatment from your primary care doctor.
Steps To Take After An Auto Accident
If you’ve been in an auto accident, follow these steps to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
If the car is not severely damaged and you did not hit your head during the accident, it is likely safe to step out of the vehicle. However, if you believe you sustained any head or neck injury, stay in the car until paramedics have had time to examine your injuries. If you see or smell smoke coming out of either vehicle, step out of the vehicle.
Check with the other driver to ensure they have not sustained significant injuries. If they have, stay with them to ensure they do not lose consciousness.
Call 911 immediately. Paramedics and police should arrive on the scene to check you for injuries and take your statement about the car crash.
Sit in a safe place off the road to ensure you do not exert yourself. You may have internal injuries or head trauma that you overlook immediately. Do not try to drive or go to your destination without seeing a medical professional.
Once the paramedics arrive, they will help you determine whether you need to go to the hospital, see a primary care physician for a follow-up, or if you can safely go home to rest. Even for minor accidents, a follow-up is typically recommended to ensure no lingering pain occurs.
What If I Experience Pain After the Accident?
During an auto accident, your body rushes with adrenaline to prepare your body for injury. This numbs your senses to pain and puts you on hyper-alert, which helps you return to safety. However, you may experience side effects later in the day once this adrenaline wears off. You may feel tired, notice aches and pains, or experience emotional outbursts once your body has had time to relax. Don’t be surprised if you cry, feel angry, or suddenly feel sore a few hours after you’ve returned home.
If you notice severe or chronic pain after your auto accident, you need an appointment with a pain specialist to ensure it does not become a long-term issue. Contact your local PPOA office to determine causes for muscle pain and weakness and what treatments suit your injury.