What to Do if You’re in a Car Accident: Stay Calm

The most difficult thing you can do after a Utah car accident is stay calm; but keeping your composure may also be the most important part of your disaster response.  Your frame of mind as you react to the accident sets the tone for your overall rebound and should therefore be kept as stable as possible for the best overall results. Remaining clear-headed will allow you to respond sensibly to a situation that may call for first aid and other matters of urgency. Losing your mind (or, obviously, your temper) can only make matters much, much worse for yourself and everyone you come in contact with.

Invariably, the best thing you can do after an accident is play it cool. There are a number of obvious practical reasons to stay calm after a car accident (and that number is included in the steps that come after this one).  You may make unwarranted admissions before you know what’s going on, apologize for fault that isn’t yours, or misinterpret information in ways that hurt you when filing a claim if your actions are driven by unhinged emotions. Your own odds of adequate compensation hang on your ability to evaluate the crisis accurately and relay that information to the police, your insurance adjuster, etc. You won’t be able to do that if you are too flustered to comprehend your position.

Avoiding rash decisions that may negatively impact your future insurance claim is, by itself, sufficient reason to stay calm.  Yet, the most compelling reason not to let panic run away with you is that you risk going into medical shock by allowing emotional trauma to compound any trauma that already exists.  In the technical sense, shock is much more than “a sudden or violent disturbance of the mind” (which is all but inevitable after a car accident):  Medical shock is defined as “a medical emergency in which the organs and tissues of the body are not receiving an adequate flow of blood.”  Symptoms include increased heart rate, disorientation, and/or chest pain. In severe cases, organ tissue dies and organs fail. Unchecked shock can not only prevent you from accomplishing the evidence-gathering and accident reporting that will come in handy down the road; it can be life-threatening.

While preventing your own shock is not always possible—after all, you can’t stop blood from flowing or lungs from swelling—you can sometimes avoid further draining your body’s resources with unproductive anxiety. You will be more helpful to yourself and others if you can keep your head in an emergency.  This is much easier said than done.  However, it will be easier to accomplish if you focus your mind on what needs to be done in the moment rather than on what just happened and how it will affect the future. To find the other guidelines, and get more information on dealing successfully with an accident go to our main page, “What to do If You are in a Car Accident.”

Car wrecks can put a difficult strain on your life. Contact the Utah Car Accident Lawyers.

Image courtesy of Beth Rogers

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