If you were recently involved in a car accident, you might be afraid to get back behind the wheel, or you might even feel some apprehension in doing so. Regardless of how minor or severe your car accident was, these feelings are entirely natural, and to be expected.
From a legal standpoint, some people are afraid that driving might have a negative impact on their personal injury case.
Really, this is not a problem in the vast majority of cases, and your physician is the best person to determine when it is safe to resume driving.
Learn more about personal injury cases after a car accident with a team of West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers.
Talk to Your Doctor about When It Is Safe to Drive Again
It is important to note how important it is to follow your physician’s advice after an accident—especially if your injuries were significant. See your doctor right away if your injuries worsen.
Your doctor can also tell you when you are physically well enough to get back behind the wheel. If your injuries prevent you from driving, your doctor will let you know.
Be sure to keep all appointments—even your follow-up appointments—after an accident. Skipping your appointments or failing to follow through on your treatment could hurt your case.
Anxiety after the Accident
Car accident victims are sometimes surprised at how their accident affects their mental health.
In fact, one study shows that at least one-third of all people involved in car accidents develop mental health problems associated with their accident, which include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Ongoing anxiety
- Claustrophobia and other phobias
These mental health issues can linger long after the accident is resolved and injuries have healed.
The author of the study, a psychiatry professor from the University of Oxford in England, says these types of psychological problems can develop even when an accident does not result in serious physical injuries.
“In the past”, he stated, “there has been an assumption that people who have more severe injuries are more likely to get psychiatric complications, but that is not so.” Read more about this study here.
Furthermore, accident victims have reported feeling anxious and stressed while driving and as a passenger.
In fact, the people who suffered the most anxiety were actually passengers in the vehicle at the time of their accident.
The study also suggests this anxiety can spike when accident victims see a car similar to the one that caused their accident, when they pass the site of the accident, or when they travel on road conditions or during weather conditions similar to those during the crash.
Overcoming Car Accident Anxiety
If you suffer with anxiety, stress, or PTSD after an accident, it can stop you from fully enjoying your life. Even a short trip to the store can become a major ordeal that leaves you mentally exhausted and depressed.
The good news is that there are ways you can overcome the mental challenges left behind by your accident.
Here are a few suggestions for coping with your anxiety:
- Talk about it: Share your feelings with a counselor, friends, or family members. Don’t keep your anxiety bottled up inside.
- Keep active: Ask your doctor if you are well enough to exercise. Staying active can help your body heal, which can have a positive impact on your mind.
- Get back to your routine: Resuming normal life can help put you back in the state of mind you were in prior to the accident.
- Consider a defensive driving course: If you feel unsafe behind the wheel, you are probably experiencing feelings of helplessness. Knowing what to do in a dangerous driving situation can help you feel empowered behind the wheel.
- Manage your risks: Lower the risk of a future accident by driving safely. Wear your seat belt, avoid driving when you’re tired, and minimize distractions.
Work with a Team of West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyers After an Accident
The time immediately following a car accident can be hectic and stressful. There are a lot of decisions to make. But the good news is don’t have to handle all these details alone.
Visit here to learn more about working with a team of West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers today.