The first priority of a vehicle accident victim should always be to focus on their physical and emotional recovery. Based on the severity of the injuries, the recovery period may be prolonged and extensive. During the recovery period, you may not be able to work. The more severe the injury, the longer it will take to completely physically and emotionally heal.
Managing Physical Injuries
Back and Spinal Cord Injury Recovery
Injuries to the spinal cord are almost always quite serious. An extensive recovery period awaits those who sustain a spinal cord injury in a car wreck. Such injuries are complex. Some victims may never be able to regain basic motor functioning ever again. Yet others will suffer back and neck pain. Further, spinal cord injuries can also lead to partial or complete paralysis. The patient may require long-term physical therapy and medical care to cope with the condition.
Knee and Chest Trauma Recovery
The knee is a delicate joint cushioned by tendons and ligaments. Thus, any injury to the knee can cause excruciating pain. If your knee is swollen, the recovery could be complex. The recovery period could be prolonged for those whose work necessitates them to be on their feet or walk a lot. Knee damage might require surgical repair, which could increase your recovery time.
Depending on the seriousness of your chest contusions, your doctor may recommend that you abstain from work while your body has an opportunity to recover. It could take several weeks or months to heal, depending on how serious the contusions are.
Internal Injury Recovery
It is common for victims of car crashes to suffer internal injuries. The recovery period for internal injuries can differ significantly on a case-by-case basis. Such injuries are especially dangerous as symptoms may not manifest until days or weeks after the incident. The recovery time could range from a few days to several months, based on the severity of the internal injury. In the case of surgical repair of internal injuries, the recovery period may be much longer.
Managing the Emotional Trauma
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), moderate to severe levels of anxiety can remain for weeks or even months after a car accident. After a car crash, females are especially prone to experiencing high levels of anxiety, with nearly 70 percent experiencing high levels of anxiety in the initial month and around 15 percent still experiencing moderate levels of anxiety six to eight months after the incident.
Individuals suffering from anxiety due to specific instances, such as a vehicle crash, may experience additional aftereffects. If you are suffering from persistent anxiety or any anxiety attacks after an auto accident, do not hesitate to contact your doctor or another medical practitioner for help.
Acute and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The most common mental health problem experienced by car accident survivors is Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The American Psychological Association states that motor vehicle crashes are the top cause of PTSD in the general (non-military) population. PTSD can have a grave effect on your life if you try to cope with it on your own. Do not assume that a mental health problem will disappear on its own and seek professional care and therapy.
Major Depressive Disorder
Another mental health concern common in both accident victims and the general population is depression, which is clinically known as major depressive disorder (MDD). For accident victims, depression is often associated with the physical injuries and pain experienced from the accident.
Similarly, the work and stress that victims experience regarding the economic effects of their car wreck can trigger depression. Further, many victims suffering from PTSD or anxiety experience depression, and some drugs that treat anxiety can also be used for the treatment of depression. If you believe that you might be suffering from depression, consult a mental health professional as soon as possible to undergo appropriate treatment.
Speak to a Qualified Auto Accident Attorney in Virginia Today
For injuries sustained in a car wreck, there is no standard recovery duration. It is best not to push yourself to resume work without consulting your doctor. A medical professional is qualified to understand whether you have made sufficient recovery to be able to safely return to work. A compromised recovery and long-term health problems can result from taking on too much too soon.
After an auto accident, you likely have various questions about your injuries and legal options. The attorneys at Olmstead & Olmstead can address all your questions and concerns. The more time you expect your physical healing to take, the more you will need a lawyer to guide you through the process.
At Olmstead & Olmstead, we know that car crash victims often experience temporary or long-term psychological damage, besides their physical injuries. We are committed to making the process of personal injury claim as seamless and straightforward as possible to enable you to focus on taking care of yourself and your loved ones without any further stress.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a serious vehicle accident that resulted in physical and psychological injuries, call our Virginia personal injury lawyers at (703) 361-1555 for a free consultation.