Injuries can be terrifying things. We know that they’re a possibility, but it’s entirely different thinking something could happen and actually experiencing it. It’s not uncommon to experience feelings of shock, confusion, surprise, or uncertainty post-injury; it’s also not uncommon to feel like you don’t know how to handle the situation. The following will explore a few things that you should do after suffering a personal injury. The goal is to minimize pain, recovery time, financial loss, and mental health implications.

Seek Appropriate Medical Attention

Immediately after experiencing an injury, you should seek out a healthcare professional that you’re comfortable with. There are many forms of injury that can take longer to heal or cause permanent damage if proper treatment plans are not employed.

Seek A Second Opinion

Of course, the flip side of the above point is that sometimes we’re given medical advice or treatment plans that feel wrong. Sometimes a medication we’re prescribed has horrible side effects we cannot bear. If you are unhappy with your diagnosis, treatment plan, or how you were treated by a medical professional, seek a second opinion. The latest data shows that doctors misdiagnose patients about 20% of the time. Beyond this, John Hopkins University just released a study that shows that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in America. You don’t have to simply accept what a doctor says; reach out to other doctors if you feel something isn’t right.

Don’t Neglect Mental Health

When you’ve been injured, it’s normal to experience a wide range of emotions. Lawyers in Lehigh Valley point out that feelings of depression, stress, or anxiety are common impacts of an injury. For many people, their ability to do their job, earn their income, take care of their home, and devote time and attention to loved ones is a big part of their identity. When something interferes with this sense of identity, all kinds of emotions and struggles can arise.

Couple this identity struggle with the frustration of feeling pain, the stress of legal proceedings, and the strain of perhaps having a near-death experience, and you have a recipe for emotional unease. It’s also worth noting that car accidents are the number one cause of PTSD in America. If your emotional state is interfering with your ability to live your life, seek support.

Don’t Rush

Healing is your top priority. It might feel like your finances, housework, or car repairs are at the top of the list, but they’re not. If you don’t heal properly, these things might be in jeopardy for a long time. Healing must come first, and this means no rushing. You need to rest. You need to stay hydrated and well-nourished. You need to sit and do nothing other than let your body heal. Think of how they tell you on planes to deal with your own oxygen mask before helping others; when you’re injured, you need to focus on caring for your body so that you can continue to care for others well into old age.

Keep Track Of Related Expenses

In the case of an injury, it’s a good idea to know what the injury is costing you. This list should include medical expenses, additional expenses like childcare while you’re at a physio appointment, extra purchases like non-slip bath mats, and income that was lost. If you’re seeking compensation for your injury, this is important data to keep handy.

Speak To A Lawyer Before Insurance Companies Or Worker’s Compensation

If you’ve been injured, there’s a pretty high chance you’re expected to deal with an insurance provider or a worker’s compensation claim. Speak to a lawyer first.

In many instances, once you select one pathway towards compensation, you’re no longer legally allowed to pursue another path—even if you later find out a second option was more suited to your best interests. To make things more complicated, workplaces, insurance companies, and other people involved in the injury might strongly encourage you to pursue a particular path (often the one that is best for them, not what’s best for you).

Many lawyers offer free consultations during which they can hear about your situation and explain your options. Because lawyers specializing in injuries have worked with hundreds if not thousands of injured people, they have a better sense of the long-term repercussions of an injury. They might point out extra expenses and needs that you haven’t yet dealt with but can expect to in the future.

The above tips should help you navigate the murky waters of post-injury life. Be gentle with yourself and listen to your body. Healing is your top priority.

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