According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 1 in 4 car accidents result in nonfatal injury. Though such incidents do not entail loss of life, the trauma can severely impair your ability to function normally.
Mental and physical conditions that result from car accidents both may render individuals incapable of living independently. Without help, victims are at risk of financial disaster and a reduced overall quality of life.
To understand the potential severity of nonfatal injuries and how to respond to them after a car accident, take a look at a case study. Meet Diane, a 35-year-old female driver. Diane is a single mother with two children and a job that provides her with a comfortable living.
Last Tuesday night, Diane had to stay at work longer than usual. By the time she finished working on her project, it was dark outside.
Three blocks from home, Diane was hit by another car. The accident was jarring and left Diane with some noticeable injuries.
She was taken to the hospital for a possible concussion and visible abrasions. Her children and parents arrived at the hospital and took her home later that night.
With some persuasion, Diane agreed to take the next day off from work. However, on Thursday at 9 a.m., she was back in her office and working on the upcoming project deadline. She did not seek any legal help or guidance.
Like many survivors of car accidents, Diane was nervous about driving again. Over the coming weeks, her fear of driving became so strong that she began to miss work – something that had been very rare for Diane.
When she did go to work, her concentration and memory were so poor that her manager scheduled multiple meetings to ask what was wrong. At home, Diane wasn’t sleeping well or eating very much.
Worried about her strange symptoms, Diane’s parents talked to her and pointed out that her problems could be side effects of a possible concussion. Diane agreed, but told her parents she couldn’t afford to spend money on ongoing treatment.
After all, her kids were getting ready for college and it was becoming difficult to make ends meet. Perplexed, her parents asked why she never kept medical records or contacted a personal injury attorney for assistance.
Tips to avoid Diane’s situation
Sadly, Diane’s dilemma is replicated hundreds of times a day across the country. Just insert yourself into the story, change some of the details about the accident and injuries, and it could easily be you.
While you can’t always prevent a car crash from happening, you can take proper steps if one occurs:
- Stay calm and focused. This is easier said than done, of course, but try to stay on an even keel and alert after an accident. It’s very important to remember the small details and take account of any injuries.
- Gather all paperwork. Anything that’s directly linked to the accident should be collected, including police reports, written testimonies, and insurance claims. If you’re injured and offered a diagnosis or treatment by a medical professional, ask for copies of all documentation and paperwork.
- Consult an attorney ASAP. The sooner you contact a personal injury attorney, the faster your life will return to normal. According to attorney Michael Ehline, “Many clients who come to us for help with a personal injury case are struggling with multiple challenges. These can range from financial and property loss to ongoing anxiety and depression.” A qualified attorney can juggle all these issues and help you focus on what really matters: getting better.
- Keep a journal. Because many car accident injuries are accompanied by concussions and head injuries, remembering details and symptoms can be a challenge. As your attorney will probably advise, you should keep a journal throughout the process to make sure everything is documented and recalled.
Avoid Diane’s situation
By remembering and implementing the tips listed here, you can avoid Diane’s precarious situation. Simply put, remember to seek immediate medical attention, document everything, and contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=1413317162]