Car accidents are much more complex situations than many people would first expect. As well, if the only person you’re speaking to about the accident is the car insurance company, you’re likely to be given the bare minimum explanation of your options because the goal is to close the case as fast as possible, having spent as little money as possible. The following will explore some of the things you might want to think about if you or someone you know has been in a motor vehicle accident.
Of course, none of this information precedes or disregards the advice of either medical or legal professionals. If a doctor, holistic healthcare practitioner, or attorney has reviewed your situation and given you advice, it is a good idea to take that advice very seriously. If you feel deep down that something is wrong with the advice, seek out another opinion from someone just as qualified.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
The big one that no one ever seems to talk about when it comes to vehicle accidents is the possibility of PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. Car accidents are the number one cause of PTSD in America, and post-traumatic stress disorder has a wide variety of symptoms and signs. Keep an eye out for anxiety, stress, confusion, feelings of worthlessness or helplessness (especially if the accident has limited your ability to work and make money), intrusive thoughts, dreams that are so graphic or frightening that they keep you from wanting to sleep, inability or extreme difficulty getting back into a vehicle or any other emotional or mental behavior that was not common to you prior to the accident.
If you need it, reach out to someone who can offer support during this trying time. If you’re heading into court or the accident takes a long time to settle, there will be more stress in the future, and your mental health should not be sacrificed.
The Law Is Not So Black And White
You may have heard about what you can expect after an accident from movies or books or random coworkers, but the truth is that the law is complicated. An incident where someone got hit from behind can be interpreted multiple ways by different lawyers and judges. The insurance companies (which, as stated above, are looking to spend the minimum amount of money) will have experienced attorneys on their end fighting to protect their bottom line. You really do need someone advocating for you and explaining all your options.
A legal professional is completely invaluable after you’ve been in an accident. Beyond this, you should reach out to an attorney before you begin any other process, including talking with an insurance company worker. Often when you begin to pursue one path of compensation, you are legally preventing yourself from choosing another route. You want to have all the information before you make a decision.
Stay Off Social Media
We all know we’re spending too much time on our phones, but in particular, if an insurance company is reviewing your situation or if a legal team is working on making sure justice is served, your social media presence might become a problem. Anything you post, record, share, like, comment on, or otherwise engage with can be used against you both by law enforcement and insurance companies. Even something like you sharing your favorite new song with your followers can be interpreted as you not being as injured as you claim you are. To protect yourself, avoid all social media until your situation is completely sorted unless specifically directed by a lawyer.
Injuries Are Complicated
No matter how good you feel after an accident (and contrary to popular belief, some people respond to near-death experiences by having a period of mania where they feel fantastic because they’re so relieved they’re still alive), you need to visit with a medical professional. If you don’t like doctors or hospitals, find a holistic healthcare worker or a naturopath. See a chiropractor or kinesiologist. You may need a medical record moving forward. Moreover, some injuries don’t present themselves right away.
Something like shock can mean that you’re not physically aware of your injury until several days later. If you suddenly can’t make it to work because your neck has stiffened up and you can’t walk, and you end up trying to get compensation for the income lost, some insurance company workers, lawyers, or judges might question why you didn’t go to the doctor if you were so injured.
The above tips should help you understand the complexity of a car accident and the plethora of ways it can impact you. Again, having support during a time like this is really important. Reach out to a sibling, a coworker, or mental health professional.