A car accident is tough on so many levels. And while the financial and psychological trauma is very real, it’s the physical injuries and related pain that typically take center stage. Knowing how to approach the recovery process can help you get back to a stable place.
Here are a few tips for a smart recovery:
- Get Immediate Medical Care
Your physical health comes first. Regardless of your immediate symptoms, it’s wise to be seen by a doctor. Not all injuries are visible right away and certain issues may not be apparent until hours or days later.
Concussions and whiplash, for example, can sometimes take a week or two before the full damage and totality of symptoms are evident. Unfortunately, if you wait this long, you could face a higher risk of long-term injury and a more extensive road to recovery. This is why it’s important to be seen as soon as possible.
If nothing else, immediate care establishes a record of the possibility of injuries and makes it easier for you to prove causation if new symptoms emerge later down the road.
- Follow Doctor’s Orders
Being seen by a doctor is the first step. Once seen, you need to follow their orders exactly as they’re laid out. Not only do they know best, but your adherence to their treatment plan will play a direct role in any future settlement or payout. (A failure to follow the plan gives the insurance company ammunition to downplay their liability.)
- Contact an Attorney
In some situations, quick treatment is enough to get you back on your feet. However, many situations are much more extensive. And when you combine extensive injuries with expensive medical bills, you can’t expect car insurance companies to play nice.
“If you are still experiencing pain after undergoing an initial medical examination and taking it easy, give a lawyer a call,” Console & Associates, P.C. suggests. “Even if you don’t know who caused the accident or how serious your injuries are, an attorney can help explain the recovery process to you so that you can make an educated decision about how to proceed.”
Some people are afraid to contact an attorney because they feel like it’ll be too expensive or make things more complicated than they have to be. But in reality, hiring an attorney pays for itself and simplifies your burden.
- Get Plenty of Rest
When you’re trying to recover from an injury, you may feel the urge to be proactive. And while there’s a time for rehab and exercise, be patient. In the initial days after an accident, it’s much more important that you get adequate rest.
During sleep, blood flow to the muscles increases, and the process of tissue and muscle repair accelerates. Not only that, but stress levels drop and inflammation subsides.
- Eat Healthy
A balanced and nutritious diet can accelerate your recovery and help your body initiate a more efficient and thorough healing process. Fresh foods, ample vitamins and nutrients, and plenty of protein will do the trick.
“Try to eat regular, healthy meals, even on days when you’re feeling a lot of pain or when you’re frustrated by the recovery process,” Integrity Spine & Orthopedics mentions. “Your body needs good fuel to function properly, and you’ll feel stronger and more energetic when you eat well.”
Likewise, adequate hydration is key to a proper recovery. Your body needs the right intake of fluids in order to repair damaged muscle and tissue inside the body. Be sure to drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water daily.
- Avoid Pushing it Too Hard
Be mindful not to push things too hard. The more boring your road to recovery is, the better off you’ll be. As previously mentioned, rest, healthy eating, and hydration all play a significant role. Your body has the ability to heal itself of many issues – it’s up to you to provide the right fuel and stay out of the way.
Prioritize a Full Recovery
In the aftermath of a serious car accident, it’s easy to feel pulled in multiple directions. And while the legal and financial aspects are certainly important, they can be handled by an attorney. Your primary focus has to be on getting better and reaching a full recovery. If you make this the priority, everything else will fall into place.