When you’re injured or traumatized in a car accident, it’s likely you want recovery to happen as fast as possible so you can return to work and get your life back in order. Unfortunately, certain injuries can take time to heal. In order to alleviate some of the stress associated with recovery, it’s important to look at it in increments. Starting with what to do in the hours after an accident and working up to the days, weeks, and months to come is a good way to prepare yourself for what recovery will mean based on the physical and emotional trauma you endured.
Steps to Take in the Hours After an Accident
The steps you take immediately following a car crash can significantly impact your recovery. It’s crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. While some injuries may be visible, it’s possible that there are internal injuries you won’t be able to detect without proper diagnostic testing. Once you’re seen by a physician, they’ll be able to provide you with an official diagnosis. It’s important to understand your diagnosis and the recommended course of treatment. Following along with what your doctor says to do will help you recover as quickly as possible.
Additionally, it’s important to be aware that you may be in shock. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may feel intense fear, anxiety, or anger. Coping with those initial emotions can be challenging, but it’ll get easier as the adrenaline wears off.
Seeking care from a medical professional is also crucial for your claim. Part of a successful recovery involves have the funds to manage medical expenses. When you file a car accident claim against the negligent party you believe caused your accident, you’ll be one step closer to receiving the compensation you need to move on with your life.
Recovering Days After a Crash
In the days following the crash, it’s important to rest. You may have follow-up appointments to attend for your injuries. It’s important to be aware of delayed injury signs. Some could be related to your diagnosed injuries, but others could be related to a condition you haven’t been evaluated for. While symptoms vary from patient to patient, the most common include back pain, abdominal pain, headache, neck and shoulder pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
If your pain starts to worsen or change after you’ve been treated by a doctor, you’ll want to return and ensure you’re treating your injuries properly. If your symptoms get worse, there could be other treatments or medications you could try to alleviate your pain and discomfort. If you believe you’re suffering from emotional symptoms, it’s important to be evaluated for those as well. Emotional trauma can seriously impact a person’s day-to-day life. If left untreated, the mental trauma could last for a significant amount of time.
Coping with Emotional Trauma in the Weeks After an Accident
Mental trauma can outlast physical injuries. While it’s normal to experience mild anxiousness, restlessness, or fear after an auto wreck, those feeling typically fade with time. When emotional trauma is severe, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop. The risk factors that increase the chances of developing a more severe mental condition like PTSD includes losing someone in the accident, having a family history of psychological problems, experiencing a life-threatening crash, and not having the amount of support you need.
Signs of PTSD include experiencing anxiety when faced with reminders of the accident, feeling on edge while driving, being more prone to scanning your environment and looking for dangers, and avoiding tasks like driving or being the passenger in a vehicle.
Fortunately for accident victims, there are a number of effective treatments for PTSD. Common ones include exposure therapy, cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, and medication. When you work with a mental health professional, they’ll be able to help you determine which course of treatment is right for you.
What to Do When Accident Recovery Takes Months
In severe collisions, recovery can take months – or even longer. When an injury is categorized as catastrophic, you may be dealing with a life-altering condition. If this is the case, you’ll have the cost of long term medical care and future lost wages to deal with. When accident recovery isn’t what you were hoping for, it’s important to develop a strong support system and find ways to remain in positive spirits. While this won’t shorten your recovery period, it may make everyday tasks a little easier.
No matter the extent of your injuries or how long it seems your recovery will take, it’s important to take action against the negligent driver that caused your accident. This will ensure they are held accountable for their actions, and you’ll have access to the funds you need to restore order in your life. To learn more about how filing a car accident claim can ease your recovery process, get in touch with our lawyers today.