Car AccidentA serious vehicle crash is an event none of us expects to suffer. Despite knowing that car collisions are common, we just never picture ourselves being involved in anything worse than a fender bender. It’s something “other people” face.

But nobody is immune from car accidents. Politicians, celebrities, first-time drivers, elderly individuals, truck drivers, racing drivers … anyone can be involved in a wreck, and the physical and emotional fallout can be serious.

Knowing how to respond will not only assist your recovery, but it’ll also help you return to driving much sooner and with greater confidence. Here are five practical tips to help you return to your life:

  1. See a Doctor

The speed and efficacy of your recovery will primarily hinge on the medical team you get and the doctor who oversees the process. If you aren’t taken to an emergency room immediately after your accident, you should see a doctor on your own as soon as possible.

Timing is significant; delaying medical attention by even a few minutes or hours can have a permanent negative impact.

  1. Get Some Rest

After obtaining immediate medical care, the second thing you need to focus on is getting rest. In order for your body to start the healing process, you have to give it the opportunity to do what it does best.

Rest involves more than just lying on a sofa and watching Netflix. You have to drink lots of water, consume vitamin C (which reduces inflammation and supports proper tissue repair), and use the right combination of ice and heat to treat the affected areas.

  1. Ensure the Paperwork Gets Handled

Getting medical attention and rest are the prime goals after an accident, but it’s also crucial to get the paperwork and legal issues addressed. This may entail hiring a lawyer to look into whether you’re entitled to compensation that would further aid your recovery.

“It is important to work with a car wreck lawyer who has successfully handled numerous accident cases similar to yours and has a proven track record,” explains Herrman and Herrman, a McAllen, Texas-based law firm. “You want a lawyer who will deal with the paperwork and insurance companies so that you can focus on your recovery.”

  1. Start Therapy ASAP

As soon as your doctor gives you the go-ahead to start therapy, get on it. Delaying therapy by even a few days can lengthen the recovery process and make your road to healing more difficult.

Therapy is mental as much as physical. You have to tell your body to ignore the pain and discomfort and assure yourself that you will get better. It may be strenuous and agonizing at times, but a commitment to following the correct course of therapy will yield positive results in time.

  1. Be Honest About Anxieties

Sometimes the impact of a car wreck causes more psychological issues than physical. As driving expert Greg Weber explains, “Having trauma or anxiety after a car accident is very common and happens to millions of people. Feeling shaken up by an accident is normal, but there’s no need to remain stuck in anxiety or PTSD.”

There are many techniques to confront post-accident driving anxiety. These include taking a defensive-driving course, psychotherapy, support groups, and medication. Find an option or set of options that work for you and get back on the road as soon as you can.

Move at Your Own Pace

One of the more frustrating parts of post-accident recovery is that everyone’s pace is different. Two people could sustain the same injuries in a similar accident and it might take one person six weeks to recover and the other six months.

There’s a range of factors involved, and you have to listen to your body and respond accordingly. But as long as you pay attention and move at a comfortable pace, everything should go well.