If you’ve been in a car accident then you’ll know just how much it can affect your life; once the numbness of the initial shock has worn off there can be long lasting effects on your health, your emotions, and your finances due to the damage caused.
Indeed, a lot of people when talking about car accidents see them as mere inconveniences that require expensive repairs or protracted insurance claims, failing to realise how lucky they are that it’s only the car that’s been damaged. Yet, for others, a car accident can mean life altering injuries that have a huge impact on their financial situation. This can cause a tremendous amount of stress and is particularly hard to deal with if the accident wasn’t even your fault.
See, accidents do happen and whilst we like to believe we have ultimate control over our choices and decisions, sometimes we are caught unaware and a car can crash into us without us being able to do anything about it.
At times like these, your life can feel like it’s not in your own hands – particularly if you’re left bleeding in the mangled wreck of a car… and whilst you are likely to go through all the woulda, shoulda, couldas – and thinking along the lines of “if only I had left the house two minutes earlier” the reality is that you only have control over the present moment, and your ability to change things extends only to how you use your time today in order to shape your future.
This is why so many people are keen to claim compensation after a road accident; they’re not able to do anything about the situation other than be made whole, in a financial aspect. That said, there’s only so much money can repair and replace – for if you’ve suffered life changing injuries, having a good financial settlement is of mild comfort in comparison to what you might have lost in terms of your health and wellbeing.
In summary, a car accident can have a huge impact on your health, your emotions, and your finances – particularly if it has meant you’ve had to take time off work, which can be even more devastating if you are self employed or run your own business, as often, it means you won’t be making any money at all.
In this article we’re going to look at the three aspects of healing after a car accident beyond claiming compensation and insurance procedures, to acknowledge the fact a car accident is much more than a broken car – indeed, the experience can make the person feel rather broken inside, particularly if they’ve been injured, and on that basis it’s really important you allow yourself to take the time to heal and be gentle with yourself emotionally.
If your car has been in a serious accident there’s a good chance it will have been written off by your insurance company – in which case, you should receive a replacement, presuming you have decent insurance cover. If your car is in for repair, then your insurance provider should provide you with a rental car in the meantime… so, presuming you have good insurance coverage, keeping mobile shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
If you don’t have good insurance coverage, however, things can be a little more stressful – and if you didn’t have any insurance at all, which is a criminal offence in most countries, things are likely to get a lot more stressful.
The thing to remember, no matter what the circumstances, is that the most important thing during this time is to recover from the accident – these administrative and legal issues can be dealt with in due course, but the one thing you need to do, now, is rest and recover.
The emotional impact of an accident can have much longer lasting effects than the physical injuries you sustain. In fact, sometimes, emotional trauma has a delayed onset, meaning you might feel fine for a few weeks or months but start to suffer with nightmares, flashbacks or even PTSD.
If this happens to you, it might be good to see a therapist, as sometimes, emotional trauma has delayed onset – meaning you can be feeling fine in the moment, or immediately afterward, but as an emotional survival mechanism you repress your feelings and then in time they start to seep out.
It’s therefore important you talk about your feelings, rather than keeping them bottled up – and this could just be with a friend. It’s good to talk things through if there’s been emotional trauma as just like how bones sometimes need support and stabilisation to heal, our emotions do too.
Similarly, to if you were to be dealing with a physical injury you might take supplements or medicines to reduce pain and restore joint mobility – for instance, if you had to have knee surgery due to damage caused by the impact of the crash; when dealing with an emotional injury you are entitled to the same level of intervention to help repair the emotional damage caused by the crash.
Healing from an accident in terms of physical recovery could take a few days, weeks, months, or even years depending on the seriousness of your injury. There are many injuries you could sustain within a car crash, yet the common thread between all injuries whether it’s whiplash or something much more serious – is that of allowing yourself the time to recover.
Many people endeavor to rush their recovery from an incident because they want to get back on their feet, almost straight away, yet it’s necessary to take it easy and appreciate the convalescent phase – as otherwise, it will be like taking one step forward to take two steps back.
Therese has completed the ‘Advanced Child Car Seat Training Course’ at TRL (Transport Research Lab) and is a CPD accredited car seat expert. She blogs about in-car safety, car seats, tips, reviews, giveaways and advice. She’s a mum on a mission to change the law and raise awareness. She is also a breastfeeding advocate and gentle parenting promoter who loves cloth nappies, baby-wearing, BLW and co-sleeping/bed-sharing.