With this snowy and icy weather, we have seen lots of patients from car accidents over the last few weeks. Most people have never been in a car accident before and are not sure what to do. I had a patient this past week that did not call the police after someone hit him at a stoplight. The other person pleaded with him not to call the police because he “had a warrant” out for him. My patient thought he was being nice so did not call. The person that hit him then lied to his insurance company about the accident the following week.
Here are some simple tips if you were involved in a minor fender bender:
- Stay Calm – Accidents happen in life so take a deep breath and make sure you are okay before getting out of your car. Getting mad and yelling at the other driver will make the situation more difficult.
- Call the Police – Regardless of the amount of damage, you will need an accident report so call the local police department. Make sure you are honest with the officer and just report the facts. Make sure you get a copy of that report and review it for accuracy.
- Take Pictures and Look for Witness – The great thing about cell phones is having that camera when you’re in these kinds of situations. Take pictures of both cars and scene of the accident. Snap a picture of anything you may think caused or influenced that accident. Look around to see if anyone saw the accident and get their information.
- Call your Insurance Agent – Notify them immediately about your accident. They will help guide you through the insurance process of filing a claim for property damage and/or medical injuries. Utah is a “No-Fault” state in regards to medical injuries. This means YOUR insurance company will pay any medical bills for your injuries due to this accident. When it is all said and done then your insurance company will settle with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you were NOT responsible for the accident, then your premiums cannot be increased for using your insurance for a medical claim.
- Schedule an Appointment with your Doctor – Schedule an appointment with your General Practitioner (GP) or your chiropractor. As a chiropractor, of course I’m a little basis on this advice as I know the advanced training I have received to evaluate and treat these injuries. Regardless, you need to get checked out if you think you are injured or not. If you are not injured, then great…but you want the documentation in the future to indicate that you were not injured.
Dr. Ken Andersen treats whiplash injuries virtually every day in his practice. These are very serious injuries that can result in serious long term complaints if not treated properly. Dr. Andersen has been successfully treating whiplash injuries in Sandy, UT since 2001.