Every year, an average of six million car accidents take place in the United States. If you’ve been in an accident recently, chances are you’re feeling pretty stressed out.
There’s no question that dealing with the aftermath of an accident is stressful.
You’ll likely never be able to completely eliminate that stress. This is especially true if you’re also working on recovering from an accident-related injury. But, there are lots of things you can do minimize it.
Here are some great tips that will help you maintain your sanity after getting into a car wreck.
File a Police Report
Immediately after getting into a car wreck, you ought to call the police. Having an officer (or officers) on the scene will ensure the area is safe and that everyone gets the treatment they need.
In addition to calling the police, you should also file a police report. This report will include details about the wreck and help officers determine the cause and potentially determine who is at fault.
A police report will also assist you when you’re making insurance claims. It makes the process easier and minimizes stress for you later on.
Contact Your Insurance Company
In addition to filing a police report, you’ll also want to contact your insurance company as soon as you can.
Inform your insurance company about the details of the accident, any injuries you sustained, and the condition of your vehicle. Provide them with as many details as you can.
Your insurance provider will likely be able to provide you with some financial relief. This can be very helpful when you’re struggling with an injury and the stress of recovering from an accident.
Hire an Attorney
Another way to relieve stress after being involved in a car accident is to hire an attorney as soon as you can. An attorney will protect your rights and ensure you are protected should you have to go to court.
An attorney can also provide you with advice on a variety of issues, including making sure you’re compensated fully and making sure you get appropriate medical care. You’ll most likely work with a personal injury attorney after a car accident.
Worried about not being able to hire an attorney?
Keep in mind that personal injury attorneys often work on a contingency basis. This means there won’t be any legal fees unless they recover compensation for your injuries.
Visit a Doctor
It’s also important to seek medical attention from an injury doctor or at your local emergency room.
If you don’t have any obvious bleeding or broken bones, you might think that you’re totally fine after the accident and don’t require any medical care. Keep in mind, though, that the injuries caused by car accidents are usually not apparent immediately after the fact. You should visit the doctor to make sure you haven’t experienced any kind of head, neck, or back injuries.
You might also want to make an appointment to visit a chiropractor. Chiropractors can help minimize neck and back pain and reduce your risk of experiencing headaches or other issues following your accident.
Keep All Your Accident-Related Information
Remember to keep all of your accident-related information and documents in one place.
Some of the most important documents and pieces of information to keep track of include:
- Your claim number
- The name of your claim adjuster
- Names and phone numbers of all parties involved in the accident, as well as contact information for their insurance providers
- Receipts for a rental car
- Records from your doctor’s appointments
- Receipts for other expenses related to the accident
Use a folder or binder to keep these documents organized and take them with you to every appointment with your attorney.
Manage Your Mental Health
In addition to prioritizing your physical health, it’s also important to take your mental health into account after a car accident.
It’s common for people who have been involved in car wrecks to experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some of the most common PTSD symptoms you may experience include:
- Feelings of anxiety when you’re reminded of the event
- Feeling of anxiety when you’re driving
- Feelings of paranoia when you’re driving
- A desire to avoid driving or driving in the same location where the accident occurred
Often, these kinds of symptoms subside with time. But, it’s important to acknowledge and monitor them. If you don’t keep track of them, it’s easy for them to take over and keep you from enjoying a high quality of life.
It might be helpful to work with a mental health professional to deal with the stress and trauma of your accident. Even just a few counseling sessions can help you overcome your fears and manage your stress in an appropriate and productive manner.
Write Down the Details of the Accident
If you’re not interested in working with a therapist, there are other ways you can go about dealing with your stress and anxiety after the accident.
One way to do this is to write down the details of the event for yourself in a notebook or on your computer. Writing the details down can help you identify triggers and work through the specific symptoms you’re experiencing after being in an accident.
Many people find that it’s helpful to continue writing about the accident and their feelings surrounding it until they’re no longer upset or triggered by those memories.
Final Thoughts on Reducing Stress After a Car Wreck
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed after getting into a car wreck, especially if you’re also trying to recover from an injury. But if you follow these guidelines, you can significantly minimize your stress.
Working with an attorney and seeking care for both your physical and mental health are great steps to take.
Remember to keep all your accident-related documents organized, too, so that you’re able to get the compensation you deserve.
Need help finding a physician who can help you get the treatment you need? Check out this article on important factors to consider when choosing a physician.