Car accidents can be physically and mentally traumatic, but we often feel the need to “hurry up” after a while. These feelings make sense, especially if you can’t work or perform your regular activities. At the same time, there’s no hard and fast rule for when you’d be considered “cured.”
Keeping a positive attitude after a traumatic incident can help you recover faster, but a car accident injury isn’t something to mess around with. If your injury is impacting your daily routine or you don’t feel safe driving after the incident, you should seek financial compensation.
However, you have to make sure you’ve gathered enough evidence following a car accident to ensure you win your case. For example, by calling the police, writing a report, and taking pictures at the scene (if able), you’ve already produced enough proof to potentially win a trial.
How to Recover After a Motor Vehicle Accident
Always remember that everyone recovers from injuries at a different pace. Don’t compare yourself to others while you’re resting, as that could bring on feelings of guilt or added stress.
Adrenaline and shock can mask even the most severe injuries. Even if you feel like you’re not in any pain, you should still visit the doctor after your accident. Ask for imagining tests, such as x-rays and MRIs, to rule out concussions, fractures, tissue damage, and joint/muscle instability.
If you haven’t experienced any severe physical trauma, keep moving as much as possible. Movement can limit muscle tension, reduce inflammation, and help you recover fasters. Don’t extend your range of motion until you feel ready, and avoid participating in contact sports.
In the first two weeks, apply heat to an acute injury to relax muscles, but stop using it once inflammation subsides. Use ice for pain relief by alternating 10 minutes on and off. Any longer and the tissue will get too cold, slowing down metabolic activity and the healing process.
You need to drink 2 liters (on average) a day to optimize your immune system and promote recovery, but don’t forget to breathe. Our parasympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight” response) can be calmed by taking 10 large breaths and slowly releasing the air in our lungs.
If you’re having a hard time getting in the driver’s seat after an accident, don’t keep it to yourself. It’s completely normal to feel nervous or paranoid after a traumatic incident, but you need to get those intrusive thoughts out of your head. That way, you can face them and start to recover.
Don’t feel ashamed about asking someone you know to sit in the passenger seat while you get over your anxiety. Start your recovery by taking short, undemanding drives. Then, work your way up to more stressful situations. Don’t avoid the crash site, but don’t force yourself to see it.
A defensive driving course can help you learn defensive strategies in a safe environment. Plus, you’ll be able to drive in a car without the fear of something happening to you. By the end of your course, you’ll learn how to analyze potentially dangerous situations and lower your risks.
Whether you experienced a life-altering injury or walked away from the accident without a scratch, going back to your regular routine is easier said than done. But if you take the time to recover physically and mentally, you’ll be able to safely get behind the wheel once again.
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