If you have suffered an accident in your life, you know how important it is to get the proper medical care. Whether you’ve been in a car accident or have hurt yourself in another type of scenario, there is a number of possible injuries that can occur.
In some cases, you can sustain minor injuries and be on your feet after a couple of days. Sometimes, however, injuries can be moderate or even severe, and it can take weeks or even months to fully recover. It is impossible to say how long the process of recovery is going to be. Other than the severity of the injury, there are several factors that determine the time it takes to recover–general health, pre-existing conditions, patients’ compliance to medical advice, the body part that was injured, and other specific factors.
Taking the proper steps to assure the best care possible can give you a better chance to fully heal and it can shorten the overall healing time. Here are 8 steps that you can follow if you are recovering from an accident:
Seek medical care immediately
If you have been involved in any kind of accident, even if it seems minor, you should always get yourself checked out by a medical professional.
Some injuries are not visible immediately. You might not feel pain at the moment, but in some cases, the symptoms become apparent after days or even weeks. Untreated symptoms can create problems and cause chronic pain down the line. The doctors will run tests to assure there are no internal bleeding, fractures, soft tissue damage, concussion, etc.
It is best to get a checkup fast because the sooner you get the right diagnosis the better your chances of a complete recovery are.
Follow doctor’s orders
Listening to the advice your clinician prescribes can set you up for a speedier and better recovery. It can be quite overwhelming to follow a treatment plan that can involve many doctor visits, tests, different medication, and medical procedures. You may need to take time off work, attend physical therapy, and do exercises at home.
This is an important tip if you are taking legal steps to mitigate your losses after an accident. It’s crucial to listen to your doctor and undergo recommended treatments since going only for an initial exam is not enough. It can be difficult to follow numerous instructions, but it is the best option for your future as you will have a better chance of a complete recovery.
Follow through with rehabilitation
Similar to the previous point, it is important to highlight attending all recommended treatments. Physical therapy may be a crucial part of your rehabilitation. Although it can be a hassle, and you might need to go in several times a week, but it can be highly beneficial for injury treatment. It is also important to follow any other treatment prescribed and do the exercises at home if your clinician advises so.
A combination of exercises and stretching will promote a full recovery quicker and rebuild your strength. Only do what the experts advise you, and keep to the routine to get the most benefits and the best results.
Get enough rest
You should give your body time to rest and get enough sleep. Sleep has an important role in recovery since it is the time when blood flow to muscles increases, which helps the process of damage repair. Hence, the more you rest, the less your body needs to work. That means you will have enough energy to heal properly and more sufficiently.
Resting will also promote a better mood and let the body produce more cells that have a role in healing and repairing damaged tissue. Try not to restrain your body and keep still for as long as what is being advised to you. Putting too much pressure on yourself too soon will only delay the recovery process and potentially harm your body.
Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet
Keeping your body hydrated is one of the simplest tips that are easy to follow and very beneficial when you are dealing with an injury. Your body usually needs more water when you are injured to heal properly. Dehydration can affect your healing process negatively by increasing the time to get back on your feet.
Include plenty of vitamins and proteins in your diet when you are recovering. Eating fresh and healthy foods will also help damage repair. Don’t skip meals, even if you lose appetite. Getting the right nourishment and enough water will improve your overall strength and wellbeing as well as assure the natural process of healing runs smoothly.
Take care of your mental health
Getting in an accident of any kind can be a traumatic experience, especially if it’s something like a car accident. Many people suffer from some form of emotional discomfort after an accident occurs, some may even have a traumatic experience. It is completely normal to have mental health struggles after you sustain injuries, and it is crucial to get the right help.
When you don’t treat these symptoms properly, they can get worse and affect your physical health negatively. A combination of professional help and a support system of friends and family can help you deal with the symptoms of mental health, as well as improve your mood and overall motivation to keep on track with your recovery.
Possible emotional reactions to an accident
Once again, it is completely normal to experience a variety of emotions after a traumatic experience. You may feel diverse emotional responses and mental health symptoms, such as:
- Fear – accidents can be very stressful and dangerous so it is normal to feel frightened in that situation. Even more so, you can be fearful after the accident and avoid similar situations or places. For example, people who were in a car accident may become afraid of getting back behind the wheel for a while after the accident. If fear becomes overwhelming and affects your daily life, it could be a sign of a bigger problem.
- PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) – this is a disorder that many people develop after a traumatic experience. Some symptoms include flashbacks or involuntary memories of the traumatic event, having trouble sleeping, losing focus and concentration, and feeling irritable and fearful. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should check in with a mental health professional.
- Anxiety and depression – if you experience excessive worry, inability to concentrate, and feel irritable, it may be a sign of anxiety from the accident. You can also feel symptoms related to depression, such as loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, or inability to enjoy the activities you previously liked doing.
Consult a mental health professional if you feel like you need help processing emotional stress or if your emotional toll decreases your ability to function normally.
Consult a legal professional
If you have been injured in an accident, and it is someone else’s fault, you should consider taking legal action. You have the right to claim compensation for your damages when such a situation occurs.
You can be confused and have many questions after an accident, so hiring an injury attorney can be highly beneficial as they will help deal with the chaos of financial damages (for example, a damaged car in a car accident), paying for medical bills, and other losses.
Compensations for a neck injury
Injuring your neck in an accident is one of the most dangerous scenarios possible. This is because the neck is a vital part of the body that contains sensitive and delicate anatomical structures.
Sustaining a neck injury can lead to many serious, life-threatening, and long-term health problems. Location and the severity of an injury determine how serious the outcome is.
Chronic pain, permanent paralysis, impaired sight, complete loss of speech, and severe migraines are some of the possible effects of a neck injury. It can cause long-term problems and a need for constant medical care, which is not only physically and mentally difficult, but it is usually financially detrimental to the victim.
A person who is not at fault can take legal action and claim damages. All of the factors we previously mentioned (physical, psychological, and financial) are considered when a jury decides on the amount of compensation for losses. Medical and financial experts are included in the legal process to estimate losses and bills to be compensated, both short-term and long-term.
How is compensation calculated?
Compensation is a complex issue and there are different categories to consider when making a decision on the amount to be compensated to the plaintiff.
Economic damages account for expenses we can quantify, such as medical bills and lost income due to inability to work.
Non-economic damages include losses that cannot be quantified. That accounts for the trauma and suffering that the victim went through.
Compensatory damages are paid for the sole purpose of compensation to the plaintiff (it can include both economic and non-economic damages).
Punitive is the damages that are paid for the purpose of punishing the defendant for their misconduct.
Give yourself time
Finally, remember that healing is a process and you need to be patient. Take as much time as you need to recover both physically and mentally. Don’t go back to your daily activities before you are completely healed to avoid creating more damage to the injuries. It can be difficult and frustrating, but it is the right path for moving forward toward full recovery.