Personal injury can strike an individual when he or she least expects it. It can come in the form of a slip and fall outside a convenience store. Or a person can be the victim of a bad car wreck that wasn’t his fault. Or one can be stabbed in the parking lot of a favorite restaurant or bar. Even an energy drink can be linked to sudden traumatic brain injury in certain teens.
Says the experts at Cohen & Winters, personal injury lawyers based in New Hampshire, if a person of any age has suffered a major personal injury, he is likely to be going through serious medical treatment, experiencing chronic pain, and missing time at work. He will also be suffering from the anxiety of not knowing how the injury is going to affect his and his family’s future.
If another person is responsible for a person’s serious injury or injuries, the victim is likely to be angry. A cash settlement attained by a reputable personal injury lawyer might not solve all the physical problems, but it will help a victim move forward.
But what sort of crucial steps should a person take when initially suffering a sudden personal injury? According to a recent report by The Southern Maryland Chronicle, it’s normal to feel terror after being badly injured. It’s one thing to imagine bad things happening, but it’s another to personally experience them firsthand.
That said, suffering a personal injury can bring shock, surprise, confusion, along with post-injury uncertainty. It’s also normal for a person to feel as though he doesn’t know how to handle the situation properly.
Here are some steps a person should take immediately after suffering a personal injury. The overall goal is to minimize recovery time, mental health issues, and financial loss.
Immediately Seek Out Medical Attention
The first step after suffering a serious personal injury is to seek out appropriate medical attention. If possible, a medical professional the victim is already familiar with is the best choice. Many forms of injury can cause either permanent damage or take longer to heal if the proper medical treatment is not applied right away.
Second Opinion is a Must
On occasion, the victim of a serious personal injury can be issued medical advice that either doesn’t work or just doesn’t feel right. Also, if medication is prescribed, its side affects might cause the victim more pain than healing.
If the victim is not satisfied with his diagnosis, or medical treatment, or treatment plan, he must seek out a second opinion as soon as possible. According to a recent study by John Hopkins University, medical doctors misdiagnose patients approximately 20 percent of the time. The Hopkins study also claims that misdiagnosis and medical errors are considered the third-leading cause of death in the U.S.
An individual who is the victim of a personal injury does not need to accept what a doctor says at face value. It’s important to reach out to other doctors if something doesn’t seem or feel right.
Mental Health Issues Should Not Be Ignored
If a victim is suffering a wide range of emotions due to a severe personal injury, it’s said to be perfectly normal. Emotions such as anxiety, stress, depression, anger, and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD are common mental health issues following a sudden personal injury.
For some victims, the ability to take care of their family, home, job, income, and bills, can be severely impaired. These problems can only exacerbate an already serious physical problem. Add to this the strain of what might have been a near-death experience, plus pain frustration, and the stress of legal proceedings, and a victim could very well face an emotional breakdown.
States The Southern Maryland Chronicle, severe auto accidents are the number one cause for PTSD in the U.S. If a personal victim’s emotional well-being is at serious risk, he should seek out mental health support immediately.
Do Not Rush the Healing Process
Once a victim suffers a serious personal injury, has contacted the right doctor, the right personal injury attorney, and the right mental health professional, his top priority is to heal, no matter how much time it takes. Too many people experience comfort in their everyday routine, even if they work a job they don’t particularly like or find satisfying. Therefore, they rush their healing process. This is said to be a big mistake since it can lead to physical and emotional complications.
Housework, auto repairs, finances, might seem as though they should be at the top of the priority list. But in the case of a healing personal injury victim, they are not. If an injured individual does not heal properly, it can result in a prolonged recovery which will cause further financial stress. An injured victim needs to stay hydrated, must be well rested, and well-nourished for up to weeks or months following the personal injury incident.
In the end, a personal injury can strike a person at any time. It can upend an individual’s life and cause great hardship for both the victim and his entire family. But if the right steps are initiated from the get-go, from seeking out the proper medical care to hiring the right personal injury attorney who can plead a case on his client’s behalf, a victim should heal fully sooner than later, and perhaps even live to a ripe old age.