After a car accident, there are both physical and mental hurdles to overcome in order to return to a sense of normalcy.
A car accident is a traumatic experience that can continue to affect victims for years afterwards. Your best chance of getting past an accident is to be prepared in advance and take specific steps to help you overcome the collision.
By preparing yourself and doing everything possible to promote your recovery, you can expect to have a positive recuperation. Listed below are six steps you should take following an automobile accident to recover both mentally and physically.
1. Check for Injuries
Immediately following a car accident, you should begin to look for your own personal injuries and injuries among the passengers in your vehicle. Serious automobile injuries don’t always include blood and open wounds; some injuries involve internal issues that can’t be spotted just by looking at someone.
If anyone in the vehicle has any kind of complaints or is experiencing symptoms such as dizziness or muscle spasms, they need to get medical care as soon as possible. While going to the hospital may seem unnecessary, checking in with your doctor could save a life and will provide documentation for any insurance claims.
2. Alert the Police and Collect Evidence
Even if there’s no serious damage, it’s important to alert emergency personnel about your accident as soon as possible. The police will talk to you, the other driver and any witnesses so that they can write a report about the accident. This report will be necessary for the insurance companies to judge who is at fault and work to get you the proper compensation for your repairs.
While the police will be taking a thorough report, it’s always a good idea to collect additional evidence. If you have a smartphone or device with a camera, take pictures of any damage and the positions of the vehicles.
Get the contact information of the other driver, along with gathering the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses.
While this many not seem like a big step to recovery, collecting accident evidence can help with a personal injury claim, and compensation can certainly bring a renewed sense of normalcy.
3. Focus on Healing
Car accidents can cause serious and life-altering injuries to victims. Your number one focus should be your recovery. Rather than trying to ignore your accident, make sure you take every step necessary to heal physically.
Keep documentation of any doctor appointments, visits with specialists, medical procedures as well as the mileage to and from all your medical appointments.
4. Prepare for Mental and Emotional Trauma
Not all injuries are physical. Following an accident, many victims find themselves facing mental and emotional distress. It isn’t uncommon for victims to feel depressed, anxious, angry or guilty. Some may even find themselves in denial—as if the accident never happened.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you are not alone. Talk to family members and friends who you know will listen and provide support. If you continue to struggle, contact a counselor or therapist who will help you work through your issues.
Once again, if you have to visit a mental health provider, keep documentation of your care.
5. Give Yourself Time
Don’t give up no matter what the long term effects of your accident; life will go on. Try to stay encouraged and upbeat. Take the opportunity to visit with friends, involve yourself in social activities, go see movies, listen to lively music and do things you enjoy. No matter how dark life seems in the moment, understand that it will get better.
6. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
When you’ve been in a car accident, legal aspects are the last thing on your mind; however, to make sure that you have the greatest chances of moving forward in life, you may need the assistance of an attorney. Contact a personal injury lawyer who can explain your options and calculate the compensation you may be entitled to receive.