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Girlfriend was a passenger in an accident, feels pain in her shoulder

zerg rushzerg rush Registered User regular
edited July 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
My girlfriend was a passenger in an auto accident earlier today. At the time, she was in shock and told the police that she was uninjured but now feels an intense pain in her shoulder. She didn't get any insurance/license plate/names of the other vehicle, and at the time the police said it was 100% the other driver's fault. It's already 2 AM and she's taken a painkiller and gone to sleep, but I would like help about what we should do tomorrow. I'm kind of lost as to the next step.


Do we call up the police and ask for the insurance information on the other driver? (Will they even give it to us?) And once we've got the insurance information, what's the next step? I assume we tell them she was injured in an accident, but I don't know how to go from there to her being fixed up by a doctor.

Do we call up her friend and ask for her insurance information? (Even though we were told it was definitely the other driver's fault? Also, my girlfriend is resistant to this because she doesn't want her girlfriend to pay.)

Do we just go to the doctor tomorrow and get her checked out, and try to get reimbursed later? (How can we make sure we get reimbursed? Also, my GF currently doesn't have health insurance, and so even if we get reimbursed later, going now could be an issue if the hospital requires payment from us upfront.)



Or am I just overreacting? She says it just hurts really bad, but she doesn't think anything's broken. I say we absolutely need to see a doctor. My mother was in an accident ~5 years ago and her neck still hurts her and has lack of movement. My brother's friend had his thumb destroyed in an accident years ago and it's never healed back to how it was before. I feel like, maybe my girlfriend will be fine after a day or two, or maybe she'll still be in pain 20 years from now and I'd rather be safe than sorry. Are my personal experiences outliers, or is this the norm for car accidents?


If anyone has had experience with this and can walk us through what to do, I'd be grateful. I'm sort of confused and neither of us have been in a situation like this before. Even just sharing your experiences of what happened to you, what you did, and if it worked out or didn't would be invaluable.

zerg rush on

Posts

  • AdusAdus Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Go
    to
    the
    doctor.

    This is the most important thing at the moment.

    I'm confused about the accident itself. She got no information? Was it a hit and run? If there is damage to the vehicle and medical costs, then the other driver is definitely liable. I can't imagine that if the police found this person that they would not help you get their information.

  • zerg rushzerg rush Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    It was not a hit and run. The police showed up and both drivers filed a report with them, although did not exchange insurance information with one another. My GF's friend who was driving had broken down crying and probably wasn't thinking clearly enough to get their information. I'm sure the police have the information we need, but I've never gone about dealing with something like this, so I don't know what to do about it.
    Spoiler:

    Also, I was not there so most of this is secondhand (I'll be picking her up first thing tomorrow and can give more accurate information then). My girlfriend sounds like she was also in a state of shock, although I don't think she realized it. She described being in the car, smelling burning, and being terrified of it catching on fire but had been so busy cleaning up a spilled soft-drink that she couldn't evacuate it. Thankfully it didn't catch on fire. I'm not 100% sure if this is shock, but I think it illustrates her mental state at the time well enough.


    The police asked if she was hurt, but she said no. Then once she had been picked up by a friend a long while later, she realized that her shoulder hurt tremendously. My girlfriend didn't get any of the information from the police because she didn't think she would need it until it was too late. Also, I think the shock played a part; she wasn't in the best state to make that decision.

  • DirtmuncherDirtmuncher Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Go to the doctor first.

    Then contact the police and explain it to them, you might also want to contact the driver of the vehicle your girlfriend was in en your insurance agent.

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  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2011
    As someone who is training to work on Ambulences:

    If you are ever in an accident and asked if you are injured, there are only two correct answers.

    'Yes' is the obvious one. If you are feeling pain at the accident scene you should always be up front about it. Don't say yes if the answer is no though. If you just want to stick it to the other guy or cover your ass with something like "My neck hurts." then that is a very bad idea. The ambulence folks will strap you down in a very uncomfortable position and you may stay that way for hours. It is not unheard of for the equipment used to imobilize you to actually cause neck damage, but it is considered worth the risk so as to avoid possible paralysis. Be honest.

    If you are not feeling pain at the scene, the only other correct answer is "I don't know." Even if you are not injured, adrenalin washes out most other sensation. That is what it is designed to do. Plus, only an X-Ray series and some other tests will be able to difinitively tell you if you are or are not injured.

    Always always always follow up with a doctor. If you are in an accident capable of bending the metal on your car, think of the kinetic energy you may have absorbed. And then realize that depending on how you are hit it can take as little as 20lbs per square inch of force to break the strongest bone in your body.

    Some days I just want to smack people with a rolled up newspaper. Or a phone book.
    A folding chair is looking like an attractive option right now too...
  • MechMantisMechMantis Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    As someone who is training to work on Ambulences:

    If you are ever in an accident and asked if you are injured, there are only two correct answers.

    'Yes' is the obvious one. If you are feeling pain at the accident scene you should always be up front about it. Don't say yes if the answer is no though. If you just want to stick it to the other guy or cover your ass with something like "My neck hurts." then that is a very bad idea. The ambulence folks will strap you down in a very uncomfortable position and you may stay that way for hours. It is not unheard of for the equipment used to imobilize you to actually cause neck damage, but it is considered worth the risk so as to avoid possible paralysis. Be honest.

    If you are not feeling pain at the scene, the only other correct answer is "I don't know." Even if you are not injured, adrenalin washes out most other sensation. That is what it is designed to do. Plus, only an X-Ray series and some other tests will be able to difinitively tell you if you are or are not injured.

    Always always always follow up with a doctor. If you are in an accident capable of bending the metal on your car, think of the kinetic energy you may have absorbed. And then realize that depending on how you are hit it can take as little as 20lbs per square inch of force to break the strongest bone in your body.

    I'm somewhat in the same boat as Just_Bri and I can corroborate every word in that post.

    Doctor up after a car accident if you have even a shadowy doubt about being injured.

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  • The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    go to the ER

    as for insurance:

    what state do you live in?

    if your state has a no-fault policy, your girlfriend's car insurance will take care of it. yes, I know how little sense that makes.

    if not, you'd just need the driver's car insurance.

    you won't need to call the police and get the person who hit you's ever.

    that's the insurance company's job

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