How to Recover from the Physical Aftermath of Automobile Accidents

Updated on December 3, 2020

Automobile accidents are a breeding ground for festering wounds and life-altering injuries that can render a driver immobile for months on end. That said, those victims of car or motorcycle accidents will need to ration their mental and physical energy during the recovery period, as overexerting oneself can result in prolonged recovery times.

While tending to physical injuries should be prioritized, the driver affected will also need to take the necessary steps to receive compensation. The costs of a car accident can be debilitating. On average, it costs over $1.6 million for each death in a car collision. Non-fatal disabling injuries generally cost $96,200, while property damage only costs about $4,500 per car accident. In light of this, it’s critical to file a personal injury claim, given the astronomical costs involved.

Don’t waste your finite physical energy dealing with the tedious processes related to personal injury cases. Put your physical recovery at the forefront of your focus. To do so, avoid scheduling off-site notarization appointments, and recoup your energy by resting and recruiting a mobile notary public like Superior Notary Services.

The physical effects of car accidents

Most people don’t spend precious minutes of their day worrying about the looming possibility of a car accident until they or their loved ones are involved in one. However, as unfortunate as it is, car accidents are common, and the effects can be long-term. Annually, nearly 4.4 million are severely hurt or disabled in car accidents. Worse yet, about 38,000 Americans die annually from road crashes.

If you are fortunate to survive a car accident, you will likely experience the below physical effects.

Cuts and burns

Depending on the collision’s severity, sharp objects (like broken glass and metal) and debris can cause bodily cuts. Car parts also tend to get hot after a crash, resulting in burns. At times, the car can explode, causing severe burns.

Victims of car accidents should promptly treat burns and cuts to avoid falling ill to skin and blood infections.

Soft tissue injuries

Tears to ligaments and tendons are common after an accident and can take weeks or months to heal, depending on the victim’s age or general health. Often, tissue damage can be difficult to diagnose until one seeks medical attention. After an accident, some victims get an increased adrenaline rush that masks their physical injuries. In these cases, drivers will often choose to forgo medical attention.

Whiplash is another common soft tissue injury resulting from a car collision. Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs due to the sudden movement of the neck during an accident. Sadly, drivers often brush off as a minor injury when the opposite is true. That said, it’s better to seek immediate medical attention to deter complications.

Loss of limbs

Although it rarely happens, car accident victims can lose their limbs during an accident. Loss of limbs leads to reduced mobility, infection, and long-standing pain.

Broken bones and fractures

Bone breaks occur because the body is forced to absorb tremendous force during the accident. When hit by external objects, thrown back and forth, projected out of the car, drivers’ bones can twist or bend unnaturally, resulting in breaks. 

The most common bones susceptible to breaks and fractures during an accident include:

  • The femur
  • The pelvis
  • Ribs
  • Collarbone
  • Vertebrae in the spine
  • Bones in the skull, sternum, neck, and ankles

Head and brain trauma

Head injuries are common, and depending on the severity, can take months to heal. Long-term effects of brain injury include the following life-altering symptoms:

  • Change of behavior
  • Partial or complete paralysis
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired communication skills
  • Loss of sensation

As you can see, there are a myriad of physical health injuries that result from car collisions. Some are minor, while others are severe and can have lasting complications that affect mobility, relationships, quality of life, ability to work, and so forth.

How to restore your health post-accident

Following a car accident, prioritizing the healing process is critical to resume a normal life. While one may want expedited healing, there’s no shortcut. With bone fractures and sprains, it’s merely a waiting game. 

Remember that recovery takes time, patience, and willing caregivers. Depending on the severity of the injuries and your adherence to the treatment procedures, some injuries may take weeks and others months to heal.

With the above in mind, you can take steps to keep your healing process on the right track. Are you wondering how? Read on. 

Seek medical attention immediately

It’s critical to seek medical attention even if the injury doesn’t pose an immediate concern. Without proper treatment, an innocuous-looking injury can result in chronic complications. Again, not all car accidents are visible immediately. Pain from whiplash and soft tissue damage can take hours, days, or weeks to surface. Before struggling off your bumps and bruises as “no big deal,” remember that delayed medical care may lead to chronic pain in the future.

Identify the appropriate auto accident injury physician

Seek care from specialists (like chiropractors, orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, or physiatrists) to treat injuries sustained in an auto accident. Your primary care physician (PCP) may not have the training necessary to identify auto-accident injuries like concussions, whiplash, fractures, and soft tissue injuries.

Follow the prescribed treatment plan

Yes, the treatment process may be long and tedious, testing your patience. But getting adequate rest and following your physician’s instructions verbatim is the only way to hasten the healing process and ensure you achieve a complete recovery. Follow to the letter the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor. In most cases, your healthcare provider will recommend the following: 

  • Take medications as prescribed
  • Take time off work and other strenuous activities to allow your body to heal
  • Stick to the physical therapy recommendations
  • Attend follow-up appointments with your doctor

Get sufficient rest

The pressures of life, i.e., taking care of family or your job may force you into action prematurely. However, to expedite your recovery process, get adequate sleep, and stay in a state of rest in the weeks following your automobile accident. When you sleep, your body increases blood circulation to your muscles and other tissues, quickening your healing process. Additionally, getting enough rest and sleep reduces stress and internal body inflammation.

Pain management

Following an auto accident, physical and emotional pain can be intense, leading you to become angry, frustrated, hopeless, and less motivated. Amid your emotional and physical suffering, you must identify pain management strategies like physical therapies, acupuncture, and taking pain-relieving medicines. Otherwise, suffering in silence will stall your healing progress.

Eat healthily and exercise regularly

Your body requires vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients to help repair damaged tissues during your healing process. Try to eat regular, healthy meals, even on days that you feel overwhelmed by the pain. Remember, your body needs fuel (food) to keep the energy levels elevated. Furthermore, keep your body hydrated to help repair tissue and muscle damage.

Perform light exercises and stretches to help your body regain the full range of motion, endurance, flexibility, and balance. Regular movement of your muscles and joints relieves stiffness, reducing inflammation, and lessens pain. Just remember to follow your doctor’s recommendations to avoid worsening the injury by overdoing the exercises.

Surround yourself with a reliable support system

During your healing process, surround yourself with family and friends that motivate you when your moods dip below average. Depending on the severity of the injury, your loved ones can help you with mobility, encourage you to attend doctor appointments, ensure you follow your treatment plan, and help you carry out household chores.

To sum it up

Though the recovery process is both emotionally and physically taxing, it’s imperative to practice patience and endurance. You may suffer setbacks and feel like you aren’t making any tangible progress. However, keep moving forward by following the treatment plan and observing the health restoration tips mentioned above. Soon enough, you will make a complete recovery and regain your active self.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.