Let’s face it. After a car crash, sometimes you don’t know right away if you’ve been hurt. After all, headaches, pain, stiffness, numbness, tingling, achiness, and/or loss of movement may not pop up for days, weeks, months, or even years.

However, if there’s even an inkling in your mind that you may have been hurt, take these four simple steps:

  1. Go right away to the appropriate healthcare provider and get yourself checked out.
  2. Let your insurance company know about the accident and where you’re getting examined. Your PIP (Personal Injury Protection) will cover this initial visit to your provider to see if you’re hurt. If you require more treatment or more doctors or therapists, your PIP will pay for that too, up to its limit.
  3. Make a quick call to a good personal injury attorney to get his or her expert legal opinion of your car accident case, how to proceed through your case, and how to protect yourself (with or without the attorney’s help).
  4. Whether you choose to hire an attorney or not, keep a daily diary of all your symptoms and complaints, no matter how small they may be. Your own personal documentation can make or break your case, your compensation, and your future.

Okay. There you go. Check them off: one, two, three, four.

These action steps add four extra layers of post-accident protection.

Keep in mind that procrastination weakens your defenses, leaving you more vulnerable to the mean, mighty insurance monster, greedy to boost its profits by paying you less than you deserve.