Car accidents can change your life dramatically. You might go to work one morning feeling fine, and the next thing you know, you’re dealing with a violent collision that runs you off the road. Some people do go through their entire lives without being in an accident, and they’re the lucky ones.
If you’re hurt, you’ll have to take some time to recover. You didn’t choose this, but now you need to deal with it if you ever hope to resume your life again.
Here are six things you might expect during the car accident recovery period.
No Work for a While
Part of being able to focus on your recovery after an accident might involve a long work absence. Most people don’t like to hear that, because:
- Your work is probably your primary income means
- You might like your job and enjoy doing it
Hopefully, your boss will understand that what happened was not your fault, and your position will still be there waiting for you once you’re healed. It’s also possible that you might be able to do some tasks from home if you do that sort of work.
Sometimes, your injury severity will be such that you can’t work from home, even if your boss would let you. That’s going to frustrate you, but you have little choice but to accept it if that’s what’s happening. If the crash was clearly the other motorist’s fault, then their insurance should cover your lost wages.
Related to this, you might experience boredom while you’re recovering. If you can’t work, then you might feel useless. You may have to talk to a therapist about this if you can’t go back to work for several weeks or months.
However, even if you’re incapacitated, there’s nothing to say that you can’t still do certain things. For instance, you can:
- Read some books that interest you
- Catch up on some new movies and shows
- Reconnect with family members
You might even take this time to learn a new language or take up a hobby if you can find something that is not too strenuous. There’s a lot you can do to fight the boredom if you get creative about it.
You might be working through an injury or injuries after the accident that require physical therapy. Generally speaking, physical therapy is not a lot of fun. It can be quite painful in some cases.
Often, you are retraining your muscles and showing them how they’re supposed to behave. If you’re starting up again after a long inactive period, then the body part in question might resist you. You’re going to have to be tough and call on inner reserves to fight back and return to your old form.
One good thing is that you often meet some great people while you’re doing physical therapy. The therapists want you to get better, and they can be some of the most chipper and upbeat people you’ll ever meet.
You might get angry at them sometimes because they are pushing you, but that’s because they want you to get well. They do have your best interest at heart, and ideally, once they finish with you, you’ll be able to return to your old life stronger than ever.
The Financial Crunch
Up till now, we’ve talked about what you can expect if the car accident was the other driver’s fault. But what if it was yours?
If your actions caused the car accident, then your situation will be a little different. Your insurance might cover all the damages, and if so, you don’t have as much about which to worry.
If you didn’t have sufficient insurance, though, then the other driver, property owner, or pedestrian might bring a civil lawsuit against you. If you acted negligently while driving, then the court will probably find in their favor.
That could be tough on you, since you may have to drain your savings to cover the damages. You might even have to borrow money from relatives or sell some valuables to come up with the cash.
That’s bad news for you, and you may feel low during the recovery time because of it. If so, try to take heart. You might be down right now, but if you’re resourceful, there is nothing to say that you can’t battle back.
The Psychological Toll
Some people feel like your physical condition after a car accident is all that matters. However, many individuals who have been in a serious wreck will tell you that’s not the case at all.
The memory of what happened during a car accident can stay with you. It will take some time to heal and getting behind a wheel can trigger bad memories, induce anxiety or even a full blown panic attack.
PTSD after a traumatic event such as an accident is common, so you’re going to have to overcome your PTSD at some point if you are impacted. It can be every bit as bad in some instances as a natural disaster, a robbery, kidnapping, or similar traumatic events.
If your PTSD is bad, you may need to talk to a professional about it. If you’re physically hurt as well, it’s a more challenging road back. But don’t hesitate to seek help, the mental toll of PTSD can seemingly prolong the physical healing process.
While you’re recovering physically, you will need to recover mentally, period. Eventually, though, most people can recover from car accidents, even the particularly violent ones. Keep faith!
As you recover, you may want to get back out there on the road, but you probably can’t do that quite yet. You may have to rely on friends or family to get to places you need to be, like a doctor’s appointment or the grocery store.
You might also look into public transportation or ride shares like Uber and Lyft. Trains and buses are much cheaper, so if you don’t have a lot of money at the moment, they will probably be your better options.
You might have totaled your car in the accident, and if so, you will no longer have wheels even after you fully recover. You might look into buying a new car if you have the money for one or look into more cash-conscious options like a used or certified pre-owned vehicle. Additionally, I recommend you sell your damaged vehicle at a junkyard to gain back some peace of mind from your ordeal.