Being involved in an auto accident can be a traumatic experience, both physically and mentally. In fact, traffic accidents are a leading cause of cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to the American Family Physician. In fact, many crash victims - even those who don't suffer from PTSD - report experiencing the following emotions following a collision:
• Shock (trouble believing it really happened)
• Nervousness, uneasiness, and/or fear
Doctors agree: it's absolutely normal to deal with emotional stress after an auto accident. And of course, when car accident victims suffer serious physical injuries along with emotional stress, they also endure physical pain - and they often have numerous practical worries. We hear these kinds of questions all the time:
• What if I can't return to work because of my injuries?
• How will I pay my bills - not to mention my medical expenses?
• Should I accept a settlement from the insurance company?
We know first-hand how overwhelming a crash can be. For that reason, we want to recommend a few tips to help you be prepared, just in case the worst happens. No one wants to be involved in an accident, but the auto insurance industry data reveals that, on average, drivers file a crash related claim at least every 18 years: odds are, you'll be involved in some kind of collision at least once in your life. Being prepared can help you ensure your rights - and your family - are protected.
Being prepared for an auto accident: A few basic safety tips
1. Keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. Here are a few items you might consider including:
• All car insurance and medical insurance policy information
• Paper and pen/pencil (to record/exchange insurance information; to make notes)
• Medical information (to make sure emergency responders know if you have an existing medical condition, if you take medication regularly, or if you have allergies)
• Emergency contact information (including local police)
• Basic first aid supplies
• Basic tools (i.e. jumper cables, Swiss army knife, flashlight, etc.)
• A disposable camera (if your phone is not equipped with a good camera)
2. Know what to do when a crash happens:
• Above all, remain calm. Again, car crashes are often overwhelming, but keeping your cool will help you to take the necessary actions to protect yourself.
• Call for help. Especially when you're injured - or when others are injured - you will need to alert emergency responders immediately.