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The 7 Things You Need to Know if You’ve Just Been in An Auto-Accident

a woman after a car accident

This week on the Atlas Total Health Blog, we wanted to highlight a very common set of details and helpful tips for our patients who have been in an auto-accident. Many chiropractic and physical therapy offices advertise “auto-accident cases”, but what does that mean – specifically? Who needs treatment? If I don’t have a headache or neck pain immediately after an accident, am I OK? Read all the way to the end of today’s article to find a helpful resource for you (or someone you know) who is currently dealing with pain and discomfort from an accident!


By: Alex Earl, DC
Spine Care Specialist

In the wake of an auto accident, emotions run high, and the path to recovery can seem daunting. We understand the frustration and anxiety that can accompany such a traumatic event. At Atlas Total Health Chiropractic, we want you to know that you’re not alone in this journey. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to you and your loved ones during this challenging time. Our goal is to provide not only the expert care you need but also the guidance and support to help you navigate the aftermath of an accident. In this article, we’ll outline The 7 Crucial Things you need to know if you’ve just been in an auto accident, with the hope that it brings clarity and reassurance to your situation.

  1. Safety!

Ensure Your Immediate Safety

After an auto accident, the immediate safety of you and your passengers should be your top priority. If your vehicle is still operable and it’s safe to do so, move it to the side of the road or a safe location to prevent further accidents. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers to the accident. If your car is unable to move or you’re uncertain about its condition, stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until help arrives. If it’s safe to exit the vehicle, carefully do so and move to a safe area away from the roadway.

Check for Injuries

Once you’re in a safe location, check yourself and your passengers for injuries. It’s essential to assess everyone’s physical condition, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent. Call 911 or emergency services immediately if anyone is injured, even if injuries seem minor. Avoid moving anyone with suspected head, neck, or back injuries unless they are in imminent danger. Wait for medical professionals to arrive and provide proper care.

Secure the Accident Scene

To prevent further accidents and ensure the safety of everyone involved, secure the accident scene as best as you can. This includes placing warning triangles or cones, if available, to alert oncoming traffic. If it’s dark or visibility is low, use flashlights or your smartphone’s flashlight to make the scene more visible. In case of any hazardous materials spill or a fire risk, prioritize your safety by moving away from the immediate area and notifying emergency services. Remember that your safety and the safety of others should always come first in the aftermath of an auto accident.

  1. Contact Emergency Services

Calling 911 or emergency services immediately after an auto accident is not just a recommended course of action; it is a critical step that can make a significant difference in the outcome. When you dial 911, you are initiating a swift and coordinated response from trained professionals who are equipped to handle emergencies. The moment you make that call, you are ensuring that help is on the way, and this can be a lifeline in potentially life-threatening situations.

When you speak with the 911 operator, it’s essential to provide accurate and concise information. Start by stating your location, providing clear details about where the accident occurred, such as the nearest cross streets or landmarks. This helps emergency responders pinpoint your exact location swiftly, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar area.

Additionally, inform the dispatcher about the number of vehicles involved in the accident. Whether it’s a two-car collision or a multi-vehicle pileup, this information helps them determine the scope of the accident and dispatch the appropriate resources.

Most importantly, communicate any injuries sustained by you, your passengers, or others involved in the accident. Injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises to severe trauma, and the dispatcher needs this information to prioritize response times and send the necessary medical assistance.

Remember, calling 911 ensures that professionals with the training and equipment to handle emergencies arrive promptly, providing the best chance for a positive outcome in what can be a distressing and chaotic situation.

  1. Gather Information

Collecting essential information from the accident scene is crucial for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps establish a clear record of the incident, which can be invaluable when dealing with insurance claims or legal matters later on. One of the most important pieces of information to gather is the other driver’s details, including their name, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance information. This information is essential for filing an insurance claim and ensuring that responsible parties are held accountable for damages.

In addition to the other driver’s information, gathering contact details from any witnesses at the scene is equally important. Eyewitness accounts can provide an impartial perspective on how the accident occurred, which can be extremely valuable if there are disputes or conflicting accounts of the events leading up to the collision. Witness statements can help establish liability and support your version of the events.

Lastly, it’s crucial to document license plate numbers of all vehicles involved in the accident. This simple step ensures that you have a reliable way to identify and track down the vehicles if needed, especially if the other party tries to leave the scene before exchanging information. By collecting and preserving this information, you empower yourself with the necessary tools to navigate the aftermath of the accident more effectively, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected.

  1. Document the Accident

Documenting the accident through photographs and notes serves as a crucial step in the aftermath of an auto accident. It’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this context, visual documentation can speak volumes when it comes to insurance claims and legal proceedings. Start by taking clear and comprehensive photographs of the vehicle damage, making sure to capture the extent of the damage from various angles. These images can serve as critical evidence to support your claim and provide a visual record of the accident’s impact on your vehicle.

Equally important is capturing photographs of the accident scene itself. This includes road conditions, signage, traffic signals, weather conditions, and any relevant factors that may have contributed to the accident. These images help establish context and can be vital in determining liability, especially if there are disputes about who is at fault.

Additionally, if you or any passengers sustained visible injuries, photographing these injuries can be essential. Documenting injuries like cuts, bruises, or other visible trauma can serve as compelling evidence of the physical toll the accident took on you and your passengers.

Alongside photographs, taking detailed notes about the accident is also crucial. Describe the sequence of events leading up to the accident, the actions of the other driver(s), and any conversations or statements made at the scene. This written account can help you recall crucial details later and provide a comprehensive narrative of the accident when dealing with insurance companies or legal professionals. In essence, meticulous documentation empowers you with a robust record of the accident, ensuring that your side of the story is well-documented and supported, which can be instrumental in securing a fair resolution.

  1. Seek Medical Attention

Emphasizing the importance of seeking medical evaluation, even if injuries appear minor after an auto accident, is a critical component to the situation. In the immediate aftermath of a collision, adrenaline and shock can mask pain and symptoms, leading individuals to believe they are unharmed. However, it’s essential to understand that some injuries may not manifest symptoms right away, and the absence of immediate pain doesn’t necessarily mean there are no injuries.

One of the primary reasons to seek prompt medical attention is to detect injuries that may not be immediately apparent. In many cases, injuries like whiplash, soft tissue damage, or internal injuries may not present noticeable symptoms until hours or even days after the accident. Ignoring these latent injuries can lead to more severe complications and delayed treatment, potentially prolonging recovery times and affecting long-term health.

Furthermore, seeking medical evaluation immediately creates a documented medical record of your condition following the accident. This documentation can play a pivotal role when pursuing an insurance claim or legal action related to the accident. If injuries are discovered later and you did not seek timely medical attention, it can be challenging to establish a clear link between the accident and the injuries, potentially impacting your ability to receive compensation or treatment coverage.

Stressing the importance of seeking medical evaluation, regardless of the apparent severity of injuries, is vital because it acknowledges the potential for hidden injuries and the critical role of early detection and treatment. By prioritizing your health and well-being with a timely evaluation, you not only protect yourself from hidden health risks but also strengthen your position in any subsequent legal or insurance proceedings.

  1. Notify Your Insurance Company

Providing guidance on reporting the accident to the insurance company is a crucial step in the aftermath of an auto accident. When you contact your insurance company to report the accident, it’s essential to emphasize the significance of accuracy and honesty throughout the process.

Start by explaining that notifying your insurance company promptly is essential. Delays in reporting the accident can potentially lead to complications in the claims process, and some policies may have specific timeframes within which accidents must be reported. Stress the importance of gathering all the necessary information before making the call, including details about the accident, the other driver, and any witnesses.

When speaking with your insurance company, make it clear to your readers that providing accurate and honest information is non-negotiable. Explain that insurance companies rely on the information you provide to assess the situation and determine liability. Any inconsistencies or inaccuracies in your account of the accident can lead to complications, delays, or even the denial of your claim.

It’s also helpful to advise readers on what information they should provide to their insurance company. This typically includes the date, time, and location of the accident, the contact information of the other driver(s) involved, any witness statements or contact information, and a description of the damage to all vehicles. Additionally, encourage readers to document their conversations with the insurance company, including the names of representatives they speak with and the details discussed, to ensure transparency and accuracy in the claims process.

In short, reporting the accident to the insurance company is a critical step, and providing accurate and honest information is paramount. By doing so, you help ensure a smoother and more transparent claims process, which is essential in achieving a fair resolution and minimizing potential complications or disputes with the insurance provider.

  1. Consult a Chiropractor

Following an auto accident, the benefits of seeing a chiropractor cannot be overstated. Even if injuries seem minor or not immediately obvious, consulting a chiropractor can make a significant difference in your recovery and long-term well-being. Chiropractors are uniquely trained to assess and treat musculoskeletal injuries, including those resulting from auto accidents.

One of the most critical advantages is their expertise in identifying injuries that may not manifest symptoms right away. Conditions like whiplash, back pain, and soft tissue injuries can take time to surface, but early detection and treatment can prevent these injuries from worsening over time. Chiropractors can conduct thorough evaluations, including diagnostic imaging when necessary, to identify underlying issues and develop a tailored treatment plan.

However, it’s vital to stress that not all chiropractic clinics are the same. Seeking care from just any chiropractor may leave you under-treated, misdiagnosed, or still in pain after extensive and expensive visits. This is why it’s essential to choose a specialized chiropractic clinic with experience in handling auto accident cases. Specialized clinics have a deep understanding of the unique challenges and injuries associated with auto accidents. They can provide targeted care that addresses the specific needs of accident victims, ensuring a more effective and efficient recovery process. They are also better equipped to communicate with your attorney than most other offices.

 At Atlas Total Health Chiropractic, we specialize in providing expert care to auto accident victims in Georgia and Southeast Tennessee. Our team of experienced chiropractors is well-versed in diagnosing and treating a wide range of injuries commonly associated with auto accidents. By contacting our clinic for a consultation, you’ll gain access to personalized care designed to alleviate pain, restore mobility, and promote healing.

Choosing a specialized clinic like ours means you’ll receive the right treatment at the right time, minimizing the risk of prolonged pain or complications. We understand the unique challenges that auto accident victims face, and we are committed to helping you achieve a full and speedy recovery. Don’t leave your well-being to chance; contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward a pain-free and healthier future.

Do this next!

  1. Share this Article with a Friend or Family member who has recently been in an accident and doesn’t know what to do! This article could save them literal headaches and figurative headaches from dealing with a wreck.
  2. Call our office TODAY at (866) 668-0108 to book your next appointment!
  3. Keep an eye out for next week’s article!