Three Things to Do After an Auto Accident | Kansas City, Mo.

by Dr. Jeffery Campbell
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Auto accidents are an everyday occurrence in Kansas City and surrounding areas. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports approximately six million crashes in the United States every year, approximately three million injuries and approximately 30,000-35,000 fatalities depending on the year. The data is compiled ONLY for Police reported crashes so the occurrences are likely higher. In the state of Florida between 2011 and 2014, there was an average of nearly 50,000 crashes per year, which is just over 1000 crashes per day. Nearly 70% of motor vehicle accidents resulted in an injury to occupants, and Missouri averaged over 700 deaths each year during that time frame.

As a physician who has studied motor vehicle collision (MVC) injuries at the Spine Research Institute of San Diego, The Center for Research into Automotive Safety and Health, I am intimately aware of the most common crash injuries, diagnosis and treatment. So, what are the 3 most important things to do after you have been involved in a Motor Vehicle Crash?

1. Remain calm and stay inside of your vehicle until traffic around you has completely stopped. It is often the case that other motorists may wind up having secondary crashes/impacts and you do not want to be outside of the vehicle if this happens. Once you get your bearings it is also important to call the police and EMS if needed to document the crash and do an initial triage of injuries. Do not engage in blame or discussion with the other drives about the crash. The police will handle those details.

2. Call your insurance company as soon as you can. It is imperative that you notify your insurance company representative that you have been involved in a crash so they can properly document the situation and so that a claim number generated. This will allow the process to get started for the repairs of your vehicle as well as medical costs to be properly handled according to your policy limits.

3. Seek the care and evaluation of a qualified medical professional sooner than later. Often crash occupants will not experience any pain for the first few days after a crash due to stress hormones, shock, or they will opine that their pain levels are mild or will get better on their own. Unfortunately, this is often NOT the case, and MVC injuries can lead to chronic pain and permanent injuries if not addressed appropriately.


For more information on crash injury, injury management and treatment, chiropractic care, permanent injury determination, guidelines for care, or additional questions, please feel free to call our office at 816-436-1500.