The time following a car accident can be difficult. First, there’s the shock of having gone through such a traumatizing incident. The shock will eventually subside as the dust settles, but the effects of an accident on your mental and emotional health can be long-term. The first step is realizing that you went through a traumatic event that can affect your life in many subtle ways.
Otherwise, you won’t be able to figure out how to recover from car accident trauma, and you may continue to experience the effects of the car accident even years later. So, to begin with, after an accident, you’ll experience emotional distress, and that can manifest in various ways, such as anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, nightmares about the event, and fear of driving, getting on the road, or being involved in another accident. These signs can be intense if the accident was fatal for other people involved, and something like attending a memorial can be devastating.
PTSD and other signs of continued stress can lower the quality of your life in many ways, and if this happens, it’s time to take steps to get your life back. Here are a few helpful suggestions for how to recover from car accident trauma.
Seek Medical Care
One of the very first things to do after a car accident is to seek medical care. Even if you feel fine and there are no obvious injuries, don’t just call emergency tow truck services and call it a day. You still need to be assessed by a professional healthcare provider. Sometimes, injuries that occur as a result of the accident may take longer for you to recognize unless you seek medical care. Delaying medical treatment may worsen the situation and your trauma since you’re likely to experience more pain and suffering. For instance, an accident may result in spine damage, and the symptoms may take longer to appear.
However, if you seek adequate medical care, a qualified doctor will perform a thorough examination and recommend the right course of action, such as neuro-rehab. Neuro-rehab is a doctor-supervised program that can help treat injuries of the nervous system. Be sure to hire a doctor with experience in treating auto injuries because they know how to diagnose and treat accident injuries, such as concussions, whiplash, soft tissue injuries, fractures, and whiplash.
Overall, motor vehicle crashes can result in a wide range of medical conditions, and some of them, like traumatic brain injury, can be very serious. If you don’t feel at all well any time after a car accident, it’s essential that you report your symptoms immediately to your doctor so that you can receive a faster diagnosis and the necessary treatment you need.
Seek Help From A Qualified Therapist
If you have developed PTSD after a car accident, you can get mental therapy and physical therapy. When it comes to how to recover from car accident trauma, getting professional help can do a lot for you. For starters, when you get mental therapy, you begin to understand that PTSD is not just something that happens to soldiers who have gone to war. You learn to recognize the common indicators of PTSD after a car accident (of which there are many).
As mentioned, this is a crucial step in learning how to recover from car accident trauma. Seeking mental therapy after an accident gives you the support you need to recover more quickly, and having someone to talk with will help you work through your issues, so you can manage your anxiety, depression, and other symptoms you may be experiencing. In addition, you’ll be able to unlearn unhealthy coping mechanisms you may have developed as a way to deal with the accident. For instance, seeing an alcoholic therapist will help you stop drinking excessively in a bid to dull or numb pain.
Besides getting mental therapy, physical therapy can also help you recover faster. It strengthens your muscles and mitigates the long-term effects of car injuries. Another advantage of physical therapy is that it can prevent secondary injuries that occur as a result of weakened muscles, such as when you fall. As your muscles become stronger, their function improves, and this helps you manage the pain of car accident injuries better and reduces reliance on painkillers, which can be addictive if used for too long.
Focus On things That Are In Your Control
A car accident is such an unexpected thing, so it can leave you feeling like your world has just been rocked and you’re not in control. The good news is there’s a lot that’s still in your control and many ways to ensure a more positive outcome. Don’t just give up and get overwhelmed with anguish, fear, and other negative emotions. Instead, find things that you can focus on that will take your attention away from the accident
The most important thing is getting your life back on track as soon as possible. So besides getting medical care and attending therapy sessions, you can also set tasks for yourself to get things back to normal. A lot of people find that establishing and maintaining a routine helps as it gives you a sense of normalcy. Similarly, doing normal things with your family and friends can help you cope with difficult times. However, keep in mind that distracting yourself isn’t the answer to how to recover from car accident trauma.
Instead, you should face reality and process what happened instead of sidelining your symptoms and your emotions. Don’t run away from things related to the car accident. Get involved with others who shared a similar experience to start making progress and get past the trauma. Even something as simple as towing your car to an auto mechanic and getting it fixed so you can get back on the road can make a huge difference, which brings us to our next suggestion for how to recover from car accident trauma.
Work On Getting Back On the Road
In the aftermath of a car accident, it’s normal for victims to develop avoidance behaviors. They may feel fearful of getting back on the road or driving in case their lives are endangered again. However, avoidance of cars and road traffic isn’t the solution for how to recover from car accident trauma. Cars are a part of everyday life, and they make our lives so much easier and more convenient in many ways. So, it’s imperative that you get back on the road without being scared of getting in a car. There are many ways to do this.
You can start by working on becoming a better driver. Even if you were not responsible for the accident and were merely a passenger, upgrading your driving skills means you’ll have more confidence when you get back on the road. You can do a defensive driving course, which is designed to help you recognize and analyze potentially dangerous situations so you can be proactive about minimizing the risk of another car accident.
The most effective tip for driving again or getting into a car after an accident is to process and learn from the incident as much as possible. Try to recall exactly what happened over and over again until the thought of the accident no longer elicits a negative response from you. If you need to talk about it, don’t bottle things but talk to your family and friends about the accident and try to see the main positive, which is that you’re alive and doing all you can to live your best life.
Don’t let the accident limit you by avoiding the crash site or certain routes that you took at the time of the accident. If you feel nervous, take it one day at a time and ask for support from your loved ones. For instance, you’ll likely feel better if there’s someone with you on your first drive after the accident. You can also start with short drives that will not cause too much distress. Remember, the ultimate goal for how to recover from accident trauma is to lead as normal a life as possible.
Hire an Experienced Lawyer to Represent Your Case
A car accident can result in the opening of a legal case. If you were responsible for that crash, you might be looking for DUI attorneys to represent you. You may also be looking for a bail bond agent to help you secure your freedom after an arrest. The point is finding an experienced legal professional to represent your case will help ensure a more positive outcome, and that’s a huge part of discovering how to recover from car accident trauma.
If you were the victim in the car crash, then it’s necessary to seek the services of a personal injury lawyer. A car accident can leave you with expensive medical bills and a lot of emotional trauma, so it’s essential to get the compensation you deserve. Depending on the strength of your case, you can successfully sue for emotional trauma. If your auto insurance company denies your claim or compensates you unfairly, you can hire a personal injury lawyer to get the correct car settlement.
If you were covered for no-fault benefits, you could also receive a payout that you can use to cover medical expenses and other bills related to the accident, such as loss of wages. You can also file a lawsuit against the responsible driver so that you’re compensated for any pain, suffering, or emotional trauma you have experienced as a result of the accident. However, the burden of proof is on you to show that the actions of the driver resulted in personal injury and emotional trauma that negatively impacted your life.
After receiving a car accident settlement, you may be wondering if you should pay taxes on the settlement. Again tax consulting with the right lawyer will help you stay compliant, so schedule a consultation to get the help you need.
Exercise and Eat Healthy
Taking care of yourself will accelerate the healing process, and there’s no better way to do this than to eat a balanced diet with regular meal times. We have already talked about how physical therapy can be beneficial, but even doing gentle exercises at home can be effective. However, be sure to get the green light from your doctor and to rest as much as possible and get enough sleep.
All this will help your body recover quickly, and you’ll feel better overall if you’re taking good care of yourself. Remember, you’ve just been through a traumatic event, and so you deserve some TLC and some time off. To recover faster, you need to focus on what makes you feel good. Exercise is good because it releases endorphins that help to elevate your mind. Similarly, eating healthy gives you more energy and mental focus to cope with the incident.
Be Consistent and Patient
As you learn how to recover from car accident trauma, you’ll find out that changes will not happen overnight. There will be good days and bad days, and the important thing is that you’re making progress, even it’s one step at a time. So be consistent and patient. Know what to do and what not to do after a car accident. Allow yourself time to process the incident and grieve if you lost someone as a result of the accident.
Don’t hesitate to seek the help and support you need when you feel like you can’t face things alone. On the other hand, you should avoid pretending like the accident never happened and bottling up your feelings. If you’re making an effort to recover, avoid doing too much as this can end up being overwhelming and forcing yourself to give up.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all method for how to recover from car accident trauma, these actions will put you on the right track. In a nutshell, seek professional help for your mental, emotional, and physical health. Realize that recovering from trauma after an accident takes time, and there’s a lot you can do to take control of the situation and improve things for the better.