Being in an accident is frightening, to say the least. Being injured in an accident? That can be overwhelming in every aspect of the word. It can be hard to know who you can turn to and what needs to be done. You’ve got all your regular obligations and commitments, your treatment and recovery, financial stressors tied to your vehicle, and potential lost work, plus you’ve got to figure out how to deal with your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company. You might even need a lawyer. And to top it all off, you’re probably sore as hell.

First of all, take a deep breath. There are professionals trained to help people who are in your exact situation. There are legal and healthcare processes in place to ensure that you’re recovering from the accident as quickly and healthily as possible. The following will explore a list of professionals you might want to reach out to after you’ve been seriously hurt in an accident. Of course, every accident is slightly different, so for the most accurate information about your particular situation, seek out the advice of a legal professional.

Law Enforcement

First things first, call the police whenever there’s been an accident. Not reporting incidents can lead to a lot of trouble later on and can slow down other processes like insurance claims or lawsuits as there’s no police report. Police officers will collect evidence on the scene, compile a police report, and speak to any witnesses available. They can also help you deal with any immediate needs like blocking off traffic or getting your vehicle out of the way.

Medical Professionals

Of course, if you’ve been hurt, you also need to seek out medical attention as soon as you can. Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured, it’s a good idea to head to the hospital. Don’t wait until days later when the pain becomes unbearable; seek out a doctor early on. Conditions like shock can make it difficult for people to gain a true understanding of their injuries. Likewise, some problems surface a few days after an incident. It would be better to have the medical report completed immediately, as well as get a jump on any treatments needed. It is almost always easier to recover when earlier treatment is sought out.

When speaking to a doctor, make sure to describe everything and anything that you’re feeling. The body is a complicated thing, and something seemingly unrelated might indicate something more serious is going on. You’ll also want to follow the doctor’s instructions with care as ignoring them can be interpreted by the law or insurance companies as you not being as injured as you claim you are.

Speak To A Lawyer

Reach out to a legal professional who specializes in the type of incident you were involved in and who practices in the state where the accident occurred. When trying to figure out how to go about hiring the right injury lawyer, you want to keep your eyes open for online reviews. You also want to take into consideration the firm’s years of experience as well as you’re feeling when speaking to an attorney. You want to work with someone who can explain to you the things that are going on in a way that you understand. Nothing will make this process more frustrating than not knowing what’s going on. You want to ensure that you reach out to a lawyer before you speak to the insurance companies as they often are looking for the lowest expense possible and so might overlook your best interest or needs.

A Mental Health Professional

This one doesn’t get talked about enough, but it should be. Car accidents are the number one cause of post-traumatic stress disorder in the United States. Many people have difficulty getting back into a car or getting behind the wheel after they’ve been in an accident. Not being able to work can also challenge our sense of competency or identity and leave us questioning our place in the world. This is completely normal, and there are experienced mental health professionals who can help guide you through this tough time. Even if you choose not to reach out to a mental health professional, it’s still a good idea to seek out some emotional support from a trusted friend or family member.

The above list should help you approach the sometimes stressful and confusing post-accident time. When it comes to putting yourself and your life back together, it’s important to remember that things take time. Trying to rush healing never helps, and sometimes it even hurts.