How to Take Care of Yourself After an Auto Injury
An injury in a car accident is one of the most traumatic situations in life whether you have injuries or not. When in a car accident, things happen so fast it is hard to digest what actually happened and why. This nagging emotional rollercoaster can leave you thinking for days about the 'what ifs...'.
There are things you need to do not only for your physical and emotional well being, but the legal and financial as well.
Time is ticking
It is noted in most circles that the first 72 hours after an accident is crunch time in completing most tasks for not only your health, but being able to claim any type of injury to your insurance. It is imperative to get the most details down, documented, and verified by a licensed physician.
This not only helps you document any injury for any health claims, but also gets you started off on the right track to a speedy recovery. There are many dangerous injuries and any delay can put you worse down the road or even straight to the hospital.
Tips on Emotional Recovery
Getting away from an accident without any physical scars can be misleading on the road to recovery. It is said that at least one-third of all people involved in nonfatal accidents come away with post traumatic stress disorder, persistent anxiety, depression, and phobias, whether they were accompanied with severe injuries or not.
One of the most important steps into finding any solution towards a negative mental state is to first admit there is a problem and seek help. Until this is accepted, it is very hard to work towards any improvement.
The first thing to do after an accident is be patient, accept help and communicate, breathe, and take time for yourself to heal.
If there is physical or structural trauma such as an TBI or other diagnoses with secondary associations to the brain, then a professional is needed to help alleviate symptoms with any emotional problems. A brain injury can change the way people understand or express emotions.
Otherwise, if 2-3 months have passed and there is still persistent anxiety, phobias or sleep disturbances related to the act of driving, then most likely it is time to seek some qualified help in psychiatry or cognitive health.
Physical Recovery after Injury
Assessing physical injuries can be a little less complex than a mental association, but it is not any less important. This is because some physical injuries such as whiplash, concussion, or internal injuries may not be as simple to diagnose or as concrete.
Go to the Doctor
Just like we had stated earlier, the most important thing after an accident is to see the doctor. This is not only to aid in any possible subsequent claims, but also to create a baseline of symptoms to assess for any improvement or worsening later down the road.
Rest and Drink Fluids
The hardest thing for people to do is to just “stop”. Most people when getting into a car accident are in a hurry or just trying to accomplish the many tasks of our days.
After having an injury, it is important to understand that you will need to ask for help with any work, take enough time to heal, drink lots of fluids and electrolytes for swelling and inflammation, and stop any physical activity till you are healed.
Therapy and Rehab
It is vital to listen to your doctor and ask questions regarding your physical recovery post accident. He or she will guide you on referrals or any exercises you can do independently.
Therapy and rehabilitation allows for quicker healing and is essential for muscles and joints to function the way they did before the accident.
It is important to not do anything without the doctor’s approval in regards to lifting or any range of motion activities.
Financial and Legal Issues
As was mentioned before, if you are planning on taking some kind of legal action, such as making a personal injury claim, the first thing to do is document the accident.
Use equipment to signal the accident and keep passers-by from contaminating it. For example, use your hazard lights to signal and if you have them, set up orange cones. If possible, try to move the vehicle to a safe place where it won’t be too disruptive to traffic. And get yourself to safety as well.
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, take some photos of the scene, making sure to include any damage done to your car. Also chat to the other driver and any witnesses. If you have one handy, jot down their information on a piece of paper or put them in your phone.
Finally, go to doctor’s and get yourself checked out. Even if you do not have any immediately noticeable injuries, some injuries may become apparent later and it is crucial to have evidence of having visited a doctor in due course.
If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, remember you do not have to give any kind of statement. Your lawyer can do the talking for you.
Should you decide to make a claim or take some other legal action, you will be pleased you took all the steps to ensure a strong case.