What to Do After a Loved One Has Been in a Car Accident: A Checklist (Part 2)
In a previous post, we catalogued seven smart steps to take after a loved one is hurt in a Georgia car accident. The first several days after this trauma can be disorienting. To that end, we’ve assembled a few more resourceful steps you can take to feel in control:
- Document what happened—to the best of your ability.
How did the crash occur? Who caused it? What’s the status of the car now… and what happened to the others involved? If your loved one is conscious, you may be able to obtain answers. Write down any information you get.
2. Collect witness statements.
Can you reach/call people who saw the accident—or who experienced it as passengers or pedestrians? If so, get their names and contact information. Ask for their stories and copies of any cell phone pictures they took. The human memory is notoriously malleable: witness statements recorded right after a crash tend to be much more accurate than those remembered days or weeks afterwards.
3. Be a patient advocate.
Depending on your relationship with the injured person, you may be barred from learning about the medical treatment or prognosis. (If you’re a spouse who has legal authority over your husband’s care, you’ll obviously have more power than if you’re just a good friend.) If possible, observe the care provided, take notes and ask good questions. Make sure that your loved one isn’t being ignored, and communicate any questions or concerns with staff. Be assertive (but avoid being rude).
4. Take care of yourself.
Eat healthy meals (i.e. “real food” with good fats, healthy protein and vegetables)—and don’t fill up on junk food from the hospital vending machine. Rest if and when possible. Even a 20 minute nap is better than nothing. Get fresh air; talk to people you trust about your feelings related to the crash; and practice mindful breathing.
- Make a list of questions to ask a Georgia car accident attorney
Aside from the medical/rehab challenges that lay ahead, your loved one will also likely need to deal with the insurance company, work, finances and beyond. Write down everything on your mind about the situation, and compile a list to ask an experienced Georgia car accident lawyer. The clearer your perspective, the better aid you can give to your loved one.
Call the Smith, Wallis and Scott LLP team for insight about what to do now. We offer free, no obligation, confidential consultations at (770) 214-2500.