If you have been told by a friend or family member or you have read online that you should not drive after a car accident because it will hurt your settlement, you are not alone. Many people worry that if they begin driving again it will have a negative impact on their chances of compensation in an accident claim. In most cases, this is not true. The decision to drive again after a car accident is a decision that only you can make after discussing your condition with your physician.
Anxiety and Fear After a Car Accident
One factor that will determine when you should drive following a car accident is your mental state of mind. It is not uncommon following a car accident to experience fear and anxiety when thinking about driving or riding in a car again, especially if the accident resulted in death or catastrophic injuries. However, even a minor fender-bender can produce a strong emotional response that results in fear and/or anxiety about driving again. The fear and anxiety can be overwhelming causing the accident victim much suffering and inconvenience.
Mental health problems accident victims may experience after a car accident include but are not limited to:
- Chronic nightmares or night terrors
- Claustrophobia or other fears
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Document Everything After An Accident
It is very important that you report any symptoms to your physician so that you can receive treatment and the condition can be documented in your medical records. It is also important that you do not push yourself to drive again after an accident until you are physically and emotional ready. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your emotional stress, anxiety, and mental health problems from the driver who caused the accident.
Talk to Your Doctor
In addition to being mentally prepared to drive again after a car accident, you must be physically able to drive. Talk to your doctor about your physical injuries and discuss when it will be safe for you to return to normal activities including driving a vehicle. You should not attempt to operate a vehicle until your doctor has cleared you to do so. You could be putting your health and the safety of others at risk if you drive before being released by your physician.
What Can I Do After An Accident?
If you are having trouble driving due to anxiety or fear, there are a few things you can. First, talk to someone about what you are going through. Talk to a friend or family member in addition to discussing it with your doctor. Your physician may refer you to a counselor. Talking about the accident and your feelings is a powerful tool in overcoming accident anxiety.
In addition to counseling, consider taking a defensive driving course to give yourself a sense of control. Knowing how to handle a dangerous driving situation can give you peace and enable you to get back behind the wheel. Stay active and return to your normal routine as soon as you can to help put you back in the same state of mind you were in prior to the accident. If the symptoms do not improve, tell your physician and seek help.
Do You Need Help Because of a Car Accident?
Call 1-800-954-4444 to speak with an experienced Fresno car accident attorney. The personal injury attorneys of Torem & Associates help car accident victims fight for their right to a just and fair settlement. Contact our office to schedule your free consultation. We want every accident victim to have access to experienced, competent legal counsel.