Even though there have been a lot of improvements to make cars safer, many people still die and get hurt in car accidents in the United States. Almost one out of every ten trips to the emergency room in the United States is because of a car accident. Most car accident injuries are bumps and bruises, back and neck sprains and strains, and spine injuries. Texas boasts some daunting statistics when it comes to automobile accidents. According to TXDOT, there were 15,764 serious injuries from car accidents in Texas in 2021 with 19,448 people sustaining a serious injury.
What To Do Immediately After an Accident
First, look for any injuries. If someone is hurt, take care of them. The second step is to drive to a safer spot to exchange information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, vehicle identification numbers, license plate numbers, insurance information, and driver’s license information. Take note of the accident’s location and get any witnesses’ names, addresses, and phone numbers. If the vehicles cannot be moved, use flares or raise your hood to protect the scene. (Masterson)
When Should You Relocate Your Car?
If you can drive the vehicle, the law requires you to move it out of the way of traffic. If your vehicle is damaged, you should stop and exchange information, regardless of who is at fault. If someone is hurt, help them and notify the authorities. If you hit an unattended vehicle, either find the driver or leave a note explaining what happened. If you are driving a car that does not belong to you, you must also provide the owner’s name and address.
Texas law requires drivers to have minimum liability coverage. If you do not have auto insurance, you might face a fine of up to $350 or even more if you have previously been penalized for driving without insurance. Prepare to show your insurance card to any police officer and notify your insurance provider as soon as a crash occurs.
You should be prepared in case of a car accident, whether you caused it or not. Being prepared will preserve your ability to file a car insurance claim against an at-fault motorist and assist you if another driver falsely blames you for the collision.
When Medical Care is Needed
Assuming the injured person is not in danger of dying and the injuries are lacerations, bruises, or probable fractures, you must decide where to go. Hidden injuries, such as organ damage, a concussion, or internal bleeding, must be found and treated as soon as possible. Having injuries documented by a medical facility as soon as possible is the best way to ensure proper steps are taken to determine costs of treatment for your injuries and file a liability claim to cover medical expenses.
The extent of your injuries resulting from a car accident should determine where you go for treatment. Things to consider regarding your injuries are:
Waiting Time: Large hospital emergency rooms generally have long wait times to be seen. Our facility specializes in emergency services only, so out wait time is little to none. This is an important consideration if being seen quickly is important.
Care: Urgent Care facilities typically don’t have on-site radiology and medical labs. An emergency room is equipped with these and can handle more severe injuries such as broken bones, internal injuries, and head contusions. If the person’s injuries are severe, an emergency room level of care is necessary.
Advanced Care Professionals: A board-certified emergency room physician can quickly determine treatment and care protocol. Because they are board-certified ER physicians, our doctors are trained to triage and stabilize emergency cases accurately and quickly. It is best to go to a dedicated emergency room when dealing with car accident injuries.
Knowing what to do and where to go when car accidents result in injuries that require medical treatment is essential to getting the right kind of treatment. Broken bones, contusions, bleeding wounds that require stitches, and internal injuries are best evaluated by an emergency room facility. Being in a car accident is always stressful and confusing. Be prepared for times such as these with knowing where to go and the kind of care a type of facility provides. It will give you peace of mind knowing you have access to the very best care.
Texas Department of Transportation. “Tips to Avoid Collisions and What to Do When One Occurs.” Texas Department of Transportation, www.txdot.gov/safety/driving-laws/tips-avoid-collisions.html#:~:text=If%20you%20can%20drive%20the,aid%20and%20notify%20law%20enforcement.
Masterson, Les. “What to Do After a Car Accident.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 29 June 2022, www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/what-to-do-after-accident/.
Administrator, Site. “Choosing between the ER and Urgent Care after a Car Accident.” Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, 7 Dec. 2021, www.rwhm.com/er-or-urgent-care-after-car-accident/.
Central California Hospitals | Dignity Health. “Coping with Car Accident Injuries in Central California.” Car Accident Injuries Care in the ER | Central California Hospitals | Dignity Health, www.dignityhealth.org/central-california/services/emergency-services/when-to-go-to-the-er/car-accident-injuries.