Car Accident Recovery 101: 7 Ways to Care for Yourself Post-Accident

Did you know that around six million car accidents happen annually in the United States? It’s easy to end up being one of the unlucky drivers or passengers who get injured on the road.

From working with insurance companies to trying to get medical help, the car accident recovery process can add to your stress and make things harder. Thus knowing how to take care of yourself is critical to getting your life back to normal as soon as possible.

But the car accident recovery process goes beyond managing pain. Read on to learn about seven ways you can better care for yourself after a car accident.

1. Head to the Doctor ASAP to Get Evaluated

Even if you just think your soreness is minor and not due to a major injury, don’t neglect to see a doctor as soon as possible after your accident. If possible, go to the emergency room after you can safely leave the accident scene. Otherwise, reach out to your general practitioner or urgent care.

What might seem like a sore neck now can end up developing into a serious issue with additional symptoms if you let it go. A simple headache could actually be a brain injury from a traumatic impact.

Letting a doctor check you out also provides some valuable documentation for your insurance claim. Make sure your doctor documents all symptoms and ask for a copy of your discharge slip. This can help you take legal action against the other driver as well if needed.

2. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders Carefully

Whether your doctor recommends physical therapy, medication, surgery, or self-care, follow those instructions closely. Otherwise, you might risk worsening your injury or extending the recovery time.

If you do feel that the treatments recommended don’t help enough, don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion. You can gain new insight into your diagnosis and discover alternative treatments that you could try.

When you feel you need some help caring for yourself, you might consider asking about getting home health assistance. This would provide a person who can help with any recovery exercises, remind you to take medication, and do some basic housekeeping.

3. Consult a Car Accident Attorney to Reduce Stress Handling Your Claim

When you’re injured and under enough stress with life, the last thing you probably want to do is try to work with insurance companies and submit a ton of paperwork yourself.

To better focus on your car accident recovery, reach out to a local attorney who can handle some of the load for your case. The best car accident attorney can deal with insurance requests, represent you in court, and develop a case that gets you the compensation you deserve.

You’ll also get help collecting evidence and providing updates on your injuries. You can turn to your car accident lawyer whenever you have a question or concern.

4. Don’t Neglect Your Mental Health

Seeking a doctor’s help for physical pain after a car accident seems obvious. However, it’s much easier to forget that accidents can also hurt you emotionally and mentally.

Even a minor car accident can leave you anxious and confused. Combined with physical problems, you can easily fall into depression, have trouble sleeping, or feel mentally unwell.

In some cases, a serious car accident can even cause post-traumatic stress disorder. This condition might cause you to avoid driving at all, lead to strong anxiety and depression, and cause flashbacks of the accident.

If you notice any of these symptoms, call a therapist. You have options such as medication to deal with the mental effects as well as talk therapy to help you work through your feelings.

5. Take Some Downtime When Possible

After your accident, you might feel frustrated about not being fit for your usual daily activities. This can cause you to push yourself physically and mentally before you’ve properly recovered.

If possible, give yourself some days to get rest and relax before you have to return to your work and family responsibilities. Even if this isn’t possible, try to set aside an hour or two a day where you won’t have to worry about doing chores or handling work assignments.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends either so you can get a break.

6. Keep a Close Eye on Your Symptoms

During your car accident recovery process, you should start to get relief from your pain and other symptoms. If you’re not feeling better with treatment, it’s time to call your doctor for a re-evaluation.

At the same time, be aware of new symptoms that arise along the way. Surprisingly, a car accident can come with some delayed symptoms days or even weeks later. These can signal something serious.

Especially be aware of new problems like headaches, shoulder and back pain, numbness, and abdominal issues. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for changes in your personality or emotional state too since this might signal psychological trauma that a psychologist should address.

7. Exercise With Caution

Depending on the injuries you sustained from the car accident, your doctor may suggest you take a complete break from exercise. In other cases, you might just need to avoid certain exercises or have no restrictions.

If your doctor does clear you for exercise, doing some light exercises like walking or yoga might help boost your mood and get your strength back. However, jumping into preparing for a marathon probably isn’t in your best interest for a speedy recovery,

When exercising, keep an eye on any new soreness or weakness since this could mean you have a hidden injury. Avoid overexercising after an accident and try to give yourself at least a day or two of rest first.

Stay on a Path Toward a Good Car Accident Recovery

If you follow these tips, you can have a smoother car accident recovery process. The key is to listen to your body closely since you’re the best judge of whether you feel your self-care tips are helping.

Keep in mind that it’s normal for it to take time for you to feel normal and healthy again. To help the process, keep up a healthy diet, get enough water, and reach out to a doctor whenever you notice concerning changes.

Now you can go check out the other health posts we offer.

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