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Your First Steps After a Car Accident

A man standing by his car, which has a visibly damaged rear end and smoke emitting from it from a recent car accident, appears stressed and is holding his neck in discomfort.

Taking appropriate steps after a car accident can help ensure your safety and well-being in the aftermath and the future. If you’ve experienced a “crash,” here’s what to consider.

Considering that there are more than 5 million car accidents each year in the United States, it’s no surprise that related injuries are common. And while car crashes are understandably scary, taking smart steps after one happens can go a long way in ensuring your health and safety moving forward.  

Our team at Physicians Group, an auto accident group with 27 locations throughout Florida and Minnesota, offers X-rays, MRIs, and therapeutic solutions for car accident injuries. 

Consider these critical first steps if you’ve recently experienced a car accident. 

1. Stop and call for help

Immediately following a car accident, stopping and pulling over if you can is essential, versus attempting to keep driving.  

If any injuries took place, even if they seem minor, call 911. Some car accident injuries don’t immediately cause obvious symptoms – and the adrenaline rush from the accident might mask symptoms such as pain. 

2. Exchange insurance information

If other drivers were involved in your car accident, exchange your insurance information as you’re able. Information to gather and provide includes:

  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Names, addresses, and telephone numbers – of drivers, passengers, and any witnesses
  • Details about any damage, using your phone or camera to snap photos

To verify the information you received from the other driver(s), ask to see their vehicle registration. 

3. Seek non-emergent medical care

If your car accident injuries are mild and you don’t need immediate care, call our office to schedule an exam.  

To diagnose an accident injury, your Physicians Group, LLC provider will review your medical records and ask about your symptoms, such as where you’re experiencing pain or stiffness.  

Your provider will then conduct a physical exam, inspecting the injured area for bruising, redness, and swelling. They’ll also test your flexibility, range of motion, and muscle strength. If needed, they’ll order a diagnostic imaging test, such as an MRI or X-ray. These tests provide an in-depth look at your bones and soft tissues so you can receive helpful treatment recommendations. 

4. Tend to your injuries before your appointment

If you’ve scheduled an exam for your auto accident injury, you can ease pain and swelling with home-care steps, lie rest, ice, and elevation. You may also benefit from an over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.  

For effective cold therapy, gently apply an ice pack wrapped in a thin cloth to the painful area for 10-20 minutes, several times throughout the first 1-2 days. Meanwhile, avoid any activity that worsens your symptoms and avoid alcohol for 24 hours or as long as directed. 

Lastly, if your symptoms worsen or you experience severe issues, like difficulty breathing, call us or seek emergency care.  

To learn more about car accident care or get started with the treatment you need, call one of our offices or book an appointment through our website today.

To learn more about car accident care or get started with the treatment you need, call one of our offices or book an appointment through our website today.