In November 1995, I wrote off my car in a nasty accident. Even though this was nearly 25 years ago, I remember the day as if it were yesterday.
I remember dropping a glass at home and hearing the sound of it shattering on the floor before I dashed out of the house to race off to a client and that same awful sound of shattered glass upon impact a few minutes later.
I remember how angry the other driver looked for that split second before he saw what shape I was in.
I remember how I felt every bump in the road on the way to the hospital in the ambulance and wondered afterwards why they have speed bumps on the way to the ER.
I remember how I cried with pain while I was being X-rayed and how abrupt and unkind the nurses were to me, in stark contrast to how wonderfully compassionate the Doctor on duty was that day.
According to this 2015 article in Cars.com, there’s only a 1 in 77 chance of dying in a car crash, meaning the risk of dying of heart disease or diabetes is much higher. But every day there are more cars on the road and the likelihood of accidents increases. According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, global crash statistics are so alarming it’s becoming a public health concern.
While we all hope and pray we will never be one of those statistics, accidents can happen and do happen. Every day. And when they do, you’re probably going to need both medical and legal assistance.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind should you ever suffer a traumatic car accident.
1. Call for Immediate Medical Assistance
This is assuming you’re able to make a call. I was winded after my car accident. Because I couldn’t breathe and thought I was dying, I was not capable of calling for help myself. Fortunately, passers-by made the call and it felt like seconds before the ambulance was there and others were taking care of me.
2. Call your Insurance Company
It’s a really good idea to have all your car insurance details on your cellphone so you or someone close to you knows what to do and who to call in the case of an accident.
The first person on the scene just happened to know my boyfriend at the time and so he got there about the same time as the ambulance and was able to handle the rest of the details on my behalf.
Some insurance companies send you a letter or email with all these details. Keep a copy of it in your glove compartment. If they send you a card with emergency numbers, keep it in your wallet. If they send you a sticker, make sure you stick it on your car. Be prepared.
3. Get Immediate Emotional Support
Talk to your friends and family about the accident. Talking through what happened with loved ones who care about you and your wellbeing, really helps you work through your emotions.
4. Seek Counselling if Necessary
If you suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) a few weeks or months down the line, seek Trauma Counselling. I found Kinesiology and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) provided the best relief for me. This would be especially important if someone close to you was injured or killed in the car accident or you believe you were the cause of someone’s death or severe injury.
5. Seek Legal Assistance if Necessary
If your case is more complicated than usual, you will need to seek legal assistance as well. There’s a chance your medical insurance and vehicle insurance may not cover all your expenses, especially if you sustain injuries that will affect you long term. A good legal firm is your best chance of getting full compensation. Learn More
You will also need legal help if you were deemed to have caused the accident and others were injured or, heaven forbid, killed. I pray this never happens to you.
Have you ever been in a traumatic car accident? Are you over the physical and emotional effects?