Many individuals who are involved in auto accidents suffer from some kind of physical injury. In some cases, the injuries are relatively minor and only last for a few days. In other cases, the injuries can be moderate to severe, and it can take several weeks or months (or longer) for the victim to fully recover or reach maximum medical improvement (MMI).
There are numerous types of injuries that can result from a car accident, and each situation is different. And there is no set time for recovery; this will depend on the severity of the injuries, the overall health of the individual, how the individual’s body reacts to various forms of treatment, and other specific factors.
All that said, there are several things you can do to speed up your recovery time if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident:
- Get Immediate Medical Help After the Accident
Whenever you are involved in an accident, even a minor fender-bender, you should always get a thorough medical examination. Some injuries are readily apparent, but in other cases, the symptoms may not show up until several hours or even a few days later. This can even happen with more severe conditions such as internal injuries. Always go to the emergency room and get checked out just to be on the safe side. The sooner your injuries are properly diagnosed, the sooner they can be treated, and the better your chances of a full and speedy recovery.
- Listen to your Doctor
One important legal consideration with regards to auto accidents is the duty of the injured party to mitigate their losses. This means not only getting any immediate and thorough medical examination, but also listening to what your doctor tells you and undergoing any surgeries or other treatments that they recommend. It may seem overwhelming to have to make time in your schedule for follow-up visits, further testing, and various types of procedures. This may require you to miss more time from work, and you might not want to go through all of this. Keep in mind, however, that the pain and hassle you have to endure in the short-term will be well worth it in the long run when you are able to more quickly heal from your injuries.
- Follow Through on all Necessary Rehabilitation
Along the same lines as the previous point, we cannot stress enough the importance of following through on physical therapy and any other recommended rehab. It can be challenging to keep all of your physical therapy appointments, especially if you have to go in three or four times a week. Another area that is difficult for many people is doing the exercises that the therapist recommends after they get home. These exercises are very important, however, because they help you rebuild your strength. This is why not doing them as prescribed could be detrimental to your rehabilitation plan.
- Stay Rested and Eat Right
In addition to doing the required exercises, you should also follow your doctor’s orders with regards to resting and eating healthy. Do not try to do too much too soon, and take the time needed to rest and let your body heal. Also be sure to stay hydrated and eat a diet full of the vitamins and nutrients your doctor recommends.
- Consult a Mental Health Professional
For many people, being injured in an auto accident is a traumatic experience. Just the collision itself can cause recurring nightmares and a fear of driving. Studies also indicate that a significant percentage of car accident victims develop various forms of psychological trauma; such as severe anxiety, depression, fear of an uncertain future, difficulty sleeping, difficulty with focus and concentration, emotional outbursts, and many others.
Psychological trauma is not something to be ashamed about – it is very normal under the circumstances. But the symptoms of this condition are not likely to go away quickly on their own. In fact, if left untreated, they can grow far worse, and they can also cause your physical condition to deteriorate. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above (or similar symptoms), consult a mental health professional as soon as possible, so you can be properly treated.
Obtain Strong Legal Counsel
As mentioned in the previous point, a car accident can be a traumatic experience. And when you are trying to recover, the last thing you need to be dealing with is the stress of trying to obtain just compensation (for your losses) from an insurance company that wants to pay you as little as possible. This is especially true in a state like Alabama, where they apply the “contributory negligence” legal standard. This means that if an injury victim is found to have “contributed” in any way to the underlying accident, they can be barred from recovering any damages at all.
You can be sure that the other side will try to use the state’s defendant-friendly legal standard against you, and this is why it is extremely important to get an experienced attorney involved as early as possible in the process. With a skilled and knowledgeable attorney in your corner, you can rest easy knowing that the legal part of the process is being handled, and that you are in the best possible position to recover full and fair compensation for your injuries.