How to Care For Yourself After an Accident
Getting in a car accident can range from an expensive inconvenience to a traumatic event. Whether you’re in a fender bender or you total your vehicle, it can be challenging to think through the shock and determine the best way to get your life back on track. It can also be a struggle when your health is impacted by the incident. Here are some important ways you can care for yourself after getting in a car accident.
See a Doctor Right Away
Even if you don’t feel hurt after getting in an accident, you should still schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Sometimes the shock and adrenaline prevent us from feeling injured until later on.
It is also important to consider that it takes time for some injuries to become apparent. Whiplash is a common injury caused by car accidents, in which your joints, muscles, vertebrae, and nerves can sustain damage. Whiplash often takes upwards of 24 hours to show symptoms and can require physiotherapy and massage therapy to correct. Having this information on your medical file can help you if you seek damages for your accident through a Car Accident Attorney.
Check Your Mental Health
When we consider the effects of a car accident, we usually fixate on physical health rather than mental. Unfortunately, a car accident can be extremely traumatic for those involved, even if the resulting damage is minimal. You may experience some memory loss or a flood of emotions about your mortality.
Insomnia, anxiety, and even PTSD can occur after an accident. If you or your family notice mental and emotional changes, it is important to contact your healthcare provider and seek assistance. For many, the option of never driving again after a severe accident is appealing, but unrealistic.
Take Care of the Details
After your accident, you will have to call your insurance provider to report the issue. In the days and weeks following, there may be some back and forth with insurance adjusters and the police if the damage is extensive enough or there are legal issues that arise.
Remember to call your place of work and let them know if you will be unable to make it in. At least take the day following the accident off, to allow for any delayed onset injuries to make themselves apparent. If you work for an hourly wage, you might be inclined to push yourself to return to work early. Try to avoid doing this, as it can worsen your problems.
If your car is totaled or in the shop getting fixed, you will require another way to get around. If a rental car is out of the question based on your insurance coverage, and you don’t have another vehicle, ask a friend or family member if they can assist you. If you don’t feel comfortable driving right now, this might be the best option anyway. Even if you feel mentally ready to drive, you may physically be unable to due to stiffness.
Get Some Rest
Your body needs sleep to heal. Now is the time to kick your feet up and get some rest. Be sure to have heating pads and ice to apply to sore spots and lots of pillows with which to prop your body up so that it is comfortable. You might want to try some light stretching to help offset stiffness, but be sure to ask your healthcare provider first.
If you’ve sustained cuts, bruises, or broken bones during your accident, you will want to be sure to have a well-stocked first aid kit handy. Follow the treatment plan laid out by your doctor, and take photos of your injuries to keep on file for the insurance company. Nourishing food and lots of water will help your body as it heals.
Be sure to get clearance from your doctor before returning to work or exercise. Take care of yourself, and in time this experience will be a distant memory.