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What to Do if You’re Injured in a Car Accident?

Two firefighters extinguishing a burning car after an accident.

Car accidents —including those that cause serious injuries to both drivers and passengers — are more common than you might think. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, more than three million people are injured in vehicle accidents each year in the United States. 

What to Do After a Car Accident

  1. Move out of the way of traffic and maintain your own safety.
  2. Call 911 immediately and seek medical attention.

Accept the word of paramedics if they tell you that you need emergency medical care. You may not be in the frame of mind directly following the accident to assess your health accurately. Even if you aren’t encouraged to obtain immediate medical care, do so. Some car accident injuries do not have immediate symptoms. Prompt medical attention can help identify any possible issues relating to the accident and document any injuries or conditions that you may have as a result.

When seeking medical attention, provide the admitting clinician with a list of symptoms, how you’re feeling, and any pain you’re experiencing. Be sure you describe all your symptoms, however mild they may be. Injuries can develop over time, culminating in severe pain. Seek follow-up medical care as needed.

If you’re able, take as many photos/videos as possible at the scene of the accident. Exchange information with the other driver, including:

  • driver’s license number
  • insurance firm and policy number
  • name
  • address
  • phone number.

We can help you by collecting police reports, medical reports, interviewing witnesses, and speaking with insurance companies. Louisiana is a comparative fault state, which means that you may have to deal with more than one insurance company.

Car Accident Injury

The Most Common Car Accident Injuries

  • Soft tissue injuriesMost people are familiar with the term “whiplash.” This is an injury to soft tissues, which are the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the upper neck and head. A collision exerts extreme forces on this part of the body, and the sudden stretching and movement can cause extensive injury.
  • Scrapes and cuts. Sudden impacts can cause loose objects to fly inside the vehicle. These include mobile phones, sunglasses, purses, books, and groceries. These flying objects can cause cuts and scrapes when they hit a driver or passenger. Broken glass can cause serious cuts and loss of blood.
  • Head/brain injuries. Collisions can cause the head to hit against the side window or steering wheel. While some head injuries can be minor, many are not. Some accidents can cause serious concussions and even brain damage.
  • Back/spinal column injuries. Collisions can cause sprains and strains in the middle and lower back, including herniated discs and fractured vertebrae. In a severe collision, bone fragments, ligaments, or foreign objects can damage the spinal cord.
  • Chest injuries. Bruises and contusions, broken ribs and internal organ injuries can occur when your chest hits the steering wheel, dashboard, or even the seat in front of you if you were sitting in the back of a vehicle.
  • Arm and leg injuries. If your vehicle is struck from the side, your arms and legs can hit a car door hard. The driver’s or passenger’s knees can hit the dashboard or seat in front of them. Injuries can range from bruises, cuts and scrapes, to sprains and even broken bones and partial or complete amputations.
  • Facial injuries. Impacts with the inside of the car, flying objects, and broken glass can cause severe injuries to the face, from bruises to lacerations and broken bones, even teeth.
  • Emotional distress. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may experience post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression.

How Can We Help After Your Accident?

When you hire a personal injury firm like The Law Offices of Chip Forstall, it gives you the time you need to focus on healing from your accident and injuries. We can represent you and handle settlement negotiations with one or more insurance companies. We’ll make sure that you are adequately represented, have your medical bills taken care of, get the best financial settlement that you can, and ensure you aren’t taken advantage of.

If you’ve been in a car accident, call us for a free initial consultation:

The Chip Forstall law offices advocate for the rights of wrongful death survivors, injured pedestrians, drivers, cyclists and more. Call us today for a free consultation.

PHONE   |    504-483-3400
FAX   |   504-483-3447

320 North Carrollton Ave, Suite 200

New Orleans, LA 70119

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