Following a serious car accident, recovery is your top priority. You want to make sure that you maximize your recovery and minimize your pain as much as possible. Furthermore, the steps you take to aid in your recovery can make a huge difference in your ability to recover compensation through a personal injury claim after the accident.
1. Always pursue medical care immediately after a car accident.
Even if you think you sustained only minor injuries, or even that you might have walked away from the accident with no injuries at all, have a doctor look you over and evaluate the full extent of your injuries. Often, accident victims may discover symptoms of serious injuries, which may range from whiplash to internal bleeding, hours or days after the initial accident. Without that medical treatment, you may accidentally make your injuries worse.
Your visit to a medical care professional will also serve to establish when your injuries occurred. If you plan to file a personal injury claim later, that evidence may prove vital to your claim.
2. Choose the right care provider for your needs.
If you have obvious injuries, you should proceed straight to a local emergency room to deal with your car accident injuries. After that emergency medical treatment, however, you may have more options. Choose a care provider who:
Specializes in the type of injury you received
Has a good reputation in the local community
Accepts your insurance, whether you intend to use personal injury protection insurance to cover the immediate bills from your car accident injuries or you need to use your health insurance to help cover some of the immediate cost of those injuries
3. Give your care provider an accurate view of your pain levels and symptoms.
Managing your pain can be a huge part of improving your recovery immediately after the accident. Pain places a great deal of stress on your body. It can leave you feeling hopeless, frustrated, or unmotivated to participate in your own recovery. Your care provider should work with you to manage your symptoms and your pain as well as possible. Continuing pain, or worsening pain, even as you start to recover from your injuries could also indicate that your care provider has missed something regarding your injury, so make sure you keep your care provider informed about your symptoms. Do not try to “tough it out,” especially if you notice your pain or symptoms getting worse, instead of better.
4. Follow all of the steps in your treatment plan.
Your care provider, or providers, will work to create a treatment plan that will establish the steps you need to take in order to recover as much as possible from your accident. Listen to your care provider and follow all of those steps–including adhering to frustrating restrictions that may limit what you can do as you recover from your injuries.
Your care plan may include factors like:
Getting plenty of rest
Your body can recover best when you get plenty of sleep and rest. When you sleep, your body takes a number of steps that can help you heal. If you try to get up and do too much in the immediate aftermath of your accident, you may find that it limits your recovery.
Specific procedures designed to treat your injury
As the victim of a serious accident, you always have the right to choose what treatments you want to take for your injuries. It’s critical, however, to follow your doctor’s advice as much as possible. Failure to take the treatments recommended by your doctor could prevent you from healing completely. For example, if you choose not to undergo surgery to set a broken leg, the bone could heal wrong, leaving you with more limitations than if you underwent the surgery.
Physical and/or occupational therapy
Physical therapy serves to help you regain physical strength and flexibility you may have lost as a result of your injuries. By following the recommendations of your physical therapist, you may find that you can improve your mobility or regain some of the independence you lost. Occupational therapy, on the other hand, aims to help you cope with permanent or long-term limitations from your injuries and work around them to increase your independence and improve your overall quality of life.
Adhering to specific limitations
Your injuries may prevent you from engaging in specific activities during your recovery. For example, some activities may cause more pain, while others may increase the risk of further injury. If you engage in those activities anyway, from putting weight on an injured limb to trying to get out and engage in physical activity before you’re ready, you may find that it sets back your recovery or even worsens your injuries.
Following your care provider’s instructions can prove vital for two reasons. First, your care provider issues those instructions in an effort to help you make as full a recovery as possible. Following them can help set you on the path to a more complete recovery. Second, following your care provider’s instructions can help improve your personal injury claim. If you fail to follow those instructions, the other driver’s insurance company may try to claim that you worsened your own injuries and that, therefore, you do not deserve compensation for those losses or increased pain and suffering.
5. Consume healthy food and get adequate hydration.
Having the right nutrients–and hydration–on hand is critical to your body’s ability to heal. Don’t give in to the urge to eat junk food while feeling sorry for yourself! Instead, eat a healthy diet that will help support your body’s natural ability to heal.
Recovering after an auto accident can be a long process. It’s critical that you remain patient during this difficult time–both with regards to your recovery and with regards to your personal injury claim. Keep in mind that you may need to go through all necessary medical procedures and therapy before moving forward with your claim, since you want to make sure you adequately claim all your medical costs. If you suffered serious injuries in a car accident and want to learn more about your right to compensation, contact us today to learn more.