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What You Can Do After a Car Accident to Get Back to Normal

Attorneys at Tennessee's Gilreath & Associates explain the process to follow if you're in a car accident

Getting in a vehicle accident can be both painful and frustrating. These feelings can be exponentially worse if the accident was due to no fault of your own. Not only are you looking at facing long-term financial burdens like fixing your vehicle and treating your injuries, you could also find yourself in the middle of lengthy insurance and legal battles.

All of these processes can run much smoother if you have the knowledge of what steps need to be taken after an accident. This includes what to do directly after the incident, and in the days and weeks thereafter.

Directly after your accident

In the moments right after your accident, it is more than natural to be shocked and scared; however, you will fare better if you can keep your cool and remember what necessary steps will help your situation.

  1. Assess any and all injuries
  2. Your first step should be to take stock of any injuries you have—you'll be of no use to anyone else if you're injured and try to move. Next, check out your passengers and those in the other vehicle(s).

    It is very common for accident victims to suffer from whiplash and the symptoms are not always immediately visible. You should especially look out for stiffness, muscle spasms and even dizziness.

    In the event that there are serious injuries, you should only give basic first aid. This includes keeping the victim warm, placing sterile dressings over wounds and providing CPR. DO NOT move a victim unless necessary for their safety. If you do move a victim, make sure they stay in the same position to make sure that you do not move the neck.

    Remember: you should insist that anyone showing signs of injury should seek medical attention. This will not only minimize their injuries, but it will give them documentation for both individual's insurance companies.

  3. Contact the authorities
  4. As you're assessing injuries, you should contact the police and (if needed) ambulances. After the authorities arrive, provide them with all of the information they need to write up a proper accident report. All of those involved in the accident will need these documents for their insurance company. Follow your company's instructions for what to do with them.

    In Tennessee, most accidents require you to contact your local authorities or the Tennessee Department of Safety(DOS). The rule is, accidents involving injuries, a death or property damage over $50 needs to be reported. This typically encompasses all car accidents. According to the DOS, reportable vehicle accidents are the same as above, except property damage must exceed $400.

  5. Make use of technology
  6. Most people today have a smartphone, so use it. Take pictures of the scene. If you don't have a camera on you, make sure that witnesses take photos. They will really help move your insurance claim along.

Over the next few weeks and months

After you've received any medical care you need, you'll have to start working to be compensated through your insurance company. The process of dealing with insurance companies after an accident will change based on what companies are involved and how severe the injuries and damages were.

**Remember: never give a formal statement unless you've assessed your coverage. Speaking before could lead to your claim being denied**

If you have suffered severe injuries, it may benefit you to contact a Tennessee car accident lawyer. This is because the more severe the injuries to your vehicle and your person are, the more your financial burden will be.

You should ensure that you keep proper records including all conversations, receipts and messages with your doctor and mechanic.

If you are involved in an accident caused by another driver's negligence and need help in making a claim against that driver, please contact compassionate and knowledgeable car accident attorneys at Knoxville's Gilreath & Associates. We also invite you to learn more about car accidents, general personal injury and much more by visiting our blog and Tennessee Personal Injury Guide.

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