Should I go to a doctor after an accident?
After you have been in a car accident, there are often questions about what you should do next. The answer is: Take care of yourself and your lawyer will take care of the rest. Lawsuits take time, and your lawyer will explain that it is often necessary to wait several months to see how your injuries heal before moving ahead with the next step. Your job is to focus your time and energy on recovering from your injuries.
Here are some things you can do:
- Listen to your doctor: He or she knows what treatment or activities will be best for your particular injuries. You should follow their recommendations and advice, and always make sure to discuss your symptoms and limitations.
- Go to treatment: Much like number 1, going to your treatments, whether they are with a chiropractor, a physiotherapist, massage therapist, psychologist or any other provider, is extremely important.
- Go to work – or don’t: Work is a fine balance, and this is another area where your doctor can help guide you. If he or she thinks you are able to work, go to work, but don’t strain yourself so you make your injuries worse or delay your healing.
- Keep everyone informed: If your doctor advises you not to go to work or not to do a certain activity, ask for a note to give your employer. Communication can make all the difference when it comes to keeping good relationships with everyone involved in your healing. Furthermore, it is important that your doctor state on the prescription note that you are off-work or require certain treatments due to your accident-related injuries.
- Try: If you feel you are able to do an activity and your doctor agrees, give it a shot! Just be careful and stop if it causes you pain. There is nothing wrong with trying something with the permission of your doctor; it is the only way you will know whether you are ready for it or not.
- Take your medication: Another part of following your doctor’s advice, the right medication can help you heal more quickly and more completely. It can be a process to find the right one, however, so do not hesitate to talk to your doctor about any side effects so he or she might suggest something that could work better for you.
- Listen to your body: This is a good rule in general because only you know what causes you pain or difficulty. If your pain gets worse or lasts longer after a certain activity, discuss your options with your doctor and your employer.
- Try not to worry: Easier said than done, right? As mentioned, lawsuits can take time and it will seem even longer if you worry about what is happening or not happening with the legal process. Keep communication open with your lawyer and trust that they know what they are doing and will take good care of your interests.
Finally, we’re not going to sugar coat it: You have a legal duty to “mitigate” your losses. This means that if you do or don’t do something that makes your injuries or your losses worse, the other party will try to use it against you when it comes to negotiating a settlement. While your health is the most important consideration, mitigation is another reason to take good care of yourself during the healing process. Just be honest with yourself and everyone concerned and you should be fine.