Car accident deaths and injuries are on the rise. The NHTSA reports that the number of car accident deaths in 2016 hit 37,461. Unsafe roadways are a major problem, and while advancements in technology have lessened the injuries people sustain, it hasn’t eliminated them.
Airbags still injure people, as do steering wheels, hits on the head, broken glass and a laundry list of other items.
Following a car accident, you’ll have to evaluate your injuries and hope for a speedy recovery. You can also follow these tips and recommendations to help you recover from an accident:
1. Visit the Emergency Room If Needed
If you’re injured and need medical attention, get in an ambulance and go to the emergency room. Yes, if you have a minor bump or bruise, you might not need medical attention. But if you’re seriously injured, take the time to visit the emergency room.
Recovery starts after your injuries start to heal.
If you go home, it might be days before realizing the extent of your injuries. You might even have serious injuries, such as a broken rib, which need to be cared for properly. Head injuries, such as concussions, also fit into this category.
And if you don’t go to the ER, you need to at least visit a doctor if you’re suffering from pain or other injuries.
Keep all of your documentation, too. These documents can be used if you choose to file a claim against your insurance company or the opposing driver’s insurance company.
2. Hydrate, Ice and Relax
No one is immune to a car accident. When you finally get home, do yourself a favor and take the day off. You don’t want to rush back into your normal activities. Your body needs to rest to heal faster. The single biggest mistake people make is continuing on their normal routine and making their injuries worse in the process.
Instead, take the day or the rest of the week off if possible.
You’ll want to:
- Drink at least 6 – 8 cups of water daily
- Ice areas that hurt
Icing the injured area will reduce inflammation and pain.
3. Allow Time to Get Over Shock
Shock is a real concern. You’ll go into shock; your eyes might be wide open and you might start to shake. If this is the case, guess what? You’re reacting normally. When you get into an accident, your body starts to release adrenaline.
This adrenaline helps the body deal with the initial shock.
And then you’ll start to feel like you’re in a dream-like state. Shock can last days, or it can last hours. Everyone is different, but it’s important to try and get over the shock. Spend time with your family and get medical attention as needed.
The shock will pass.
4. Medication and Pain Management After an Accident
If you’ve been to the doctor and are still suffering from pain, you have a few options available. There are a lot of over-the-counter pain relievers that will help you alleviate the aches and pains you’re feeling after an accident.
A few things you can do are:
- Ice the area to keep the swelling and inflammation down
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Advil
I recommend making sure that you don’t have any internal injuries before taking an NSAID. NSAIDs can increase the risk of bleeding. These medications, found in many pharmacies, are known to interfere with the body’s natural clotting ability. If this happens, your body may have problems healing from the internal injuries.
The end result is increased bleeding, which is not good for someone who has just been in an accident and may be suffering from unknown internal injuries.