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Your First Steps After a Car Accident

Car accidents can be traumatizing, but keeping a clear head and following the proper steps in the aftermath can make a huge difference in the outcome. 

At Houston Medical ER, we are committed to providing the help you need once you enter our care, but we want you as prepared as possible to arrive safely. 

Be prepared

Preparation starts long before you have an accident. The likelihood of an eventual accident is high, even if it’s just a slight fender bender. It’s best to have an emergency kit in your vehicle with your medical information, including your primary doctor, allergies, and medical issues. 

You should also have emergency flares and cones, an orange vest, paper and pencil, and a first aid kit. If an accident does occur, you’ll feel calmer and more prepared than if you don’t have anything on hand. 

Your first steps after a car accident

Your first steps after an accident depend on your condition and the condition of the vehicle. If possible, remove the car from traffic and park it in a safe space nearby while taking deep breaths. 

Next, assess any injuries, including to yourself and passengers. If someone is severely injured, don’t move them. Instead, call for an ambulance and follow the directions they provide while awaiting help. 

If minor injuries occur, take a moment to set up your emergency kit outside the vehicle and return with first aid. If you can’t move, are severely injured, or cannot open the car door, immediately dial 911 and turn your hazard lights on to let others on the road know your status. Don’t unfasten your seat belt. 

If the car accident is minor without apparent injuries, exchange your personal information — name, address, phone number, driver’s license, license plate number, and insurance information — with the other driver. 

Common injuries associated with car accidents

Accident injuries can range from breaks and sprains to lacerations, whiplash, burns, and neck or back injuries. Look for such symptoms as:

  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Stiffness
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Joint pain
  • Body aches
  • Soreness

While many injuries are identifiable directly after the accident, certain injuries might not become apparent until later. It’s always a good idea to head to Houston Medical ER and get a once-over for health reasons and insurance compensation. 

Whiplash, for instance, is a serious condition that can last for weeks or months after an auto accident. Often, an accident causes a rush of adrenaline that can mask the symptoms of whiplash until later that day or the next. 

If you experience neck pain, loss of range of motion, headache at the base of the skull, pain, tingling, tenderness along your arms, fatigue, or dizziness, visit our experts in the emergency room as soon as possible. 

You never need an appointment here

If you’ve been in an accident, Houston Medical ER in Houston and Spring, Texas, offers accident injury services 24/7/365 without an appointment. Simply call or walk in to receive top-notch treatment by board-certified and board-eligible physicians.

For any medical procedure, patients respond to treatment differently, hence each patient's results may vary.
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