A car accident can change your life in an instant, even beyond whatever physical injuries you may have suffered. There are sudden financial burdens and emotional trauma with which will also have to deal and these things will affect you, regardless of who was at fault. It's going to take some time to get your life back together and to move past this accident, but it can be done.
Physically Recovering from Your Auto Accident
As your personal injury attorney will likely tell you, seeking a medical evaluation and treatment is vital. This is true for any legal action that may be necessary, as well as for taking care of yourself. Even if you don't feel injured, that doesn't mean there hasn't been damage. If you're going to fully recover, you'll need to seek treatment and participate in physical therapy as instructed.
Additionally, there are things you can do at home to help yourself heal a little faster. For instance, ensuring you're getting as much rest as possible is a key component to your recovery. Your body rebuilds muscle mass, while you're at rest, so getting enough rest can help you promote a faster recovery timetable.
Cool therapy, such as ice packs, can reduce the inflammation in your body and help you better recover from physical injuries. As the swelling goes down, ease up on the ice packs. Too much can also inhibit good blood flow.
Return to a light exercise routine, as well. This should be done under the guidance of your physician and he may be able to recommend exercises that are best for your condition. Getting back to a regular routine of physical activity can help your body restore itself.
Dealing with the Emotional Fallout
If your case goes to court, your accident attorney will likely cite "pain and suffering" as one type of damages you have suffered. This isn't just a scheme to petition the court for more money. Trauma has a very real effect on accident victims, similar to the PTSD experienced by U.S. soldiers. As such, you may need psychological therapy in addition to your medical treatments.
Among the more common types of therapy that accident victims pursue are psychotherapy and hypnotherapy. Another up and coming therapy is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), which involves stimulating each hemisphere of the brain individually. This is done through structured movement of the eyes and, while it may not sound effective, it has been proven to reduce anxiety in patients.
Sometimes, medication must be administered to get anxiety under control and limit the PTSD effects that result from a car accident. Eventually, the goal is to help you get back out on the road without feelings of fear and anxiety. That's going to take time, practice, and the help of your therapist.
The Financial Repercussions of a Traffic Accident
Suppose the accident is another's fault and your attorney is working hard on getting you the money you need to pay for your medical treatment and property damages. That's still going to take time and, in the interim, you'll have debts that need to be paid. You also may be out of work, costing you money upon which you relied. This makes it easy to fall deeper into debt.
One of the first things you should do is to organize your budget. Get a plan into place that accounts for your new financial obligations and the income you've lost, due to the accident. Try to cut out things you don't need, or items you can temporarily reduce or eliminate. This can help you manage things through the immediate future.
Try to avoid loans and credit, as well. Instead of borrowing, talk to your creditors and explain the situation. They will likely offer to work out a payment plan that can help you get through this rough patch. The last thing you want to do is destroy your credit, while you're recovering from the accident.
Another temptation is to use a payday or title loan service, but these options should definitely be avoided. Some research has found that the interest rate can be up to 300% and, if you don't pay it back, you could end up in a cycle of borrowing and repaying every week. Instead, opt for a crowdfunding or peer to peer lending service, if you're really strapped for cash. Crowdfunding relies on donations, while peer to peer lending offers a much lower interest rate.
Often, people don't realize how deeply an accident can affect an individual. It may stir up past traumatic memories, creating more serious psychological problems, or it may affect past physical injuries, which can result in permanent disabilities. On top of the effects to our health, a serious traffic accident often places people in precarious financial situations. For these reasons, it's important to take a step back and determine your immediate needs. This is a time to seek help from professionals, as well as family and friends.