There’s no doubt that getting into a car accident can be a harrowing experience. In some cases, it could be traumatic, in others it can be life-changing, and no matter what happens, it’s an experience that few will soon forget.
Being involved in an accident can be a scary experience. In fact, estimates have shown that there are more than six million car accidents in the United States annually. If you’ve been involved in an accident, there’s a good chance there will be a fair amount of accident recovery as well. How you respond to such a trial of life can say a lot about your character.
The Story of Dawson Kram
Such was the case for North Dakota man, Dawson Kram, and his story of recovery in the aftermath of a car accident. This can serve as an inspiration to countless others who have been in accidents.
Last Thanksgiving, Kram was being pulled in a go-kart behind a GTO when his hand suddenly became tangled in the slack of the rope pulling the kart. Instantly, the rope was pulled taut and Kram’s arm was severed below the elbow.
Kram showed an amazing amount of grit in the moments after, driving more than five miles to the hospital. His determination was evident as he fought through blood and pain while seeing the compound fracture as he drove.
Kram showed grit and determination once again once his severed arm was brought to the hospital. He was told by doctors that it was too late to reattach the arm. In that moment, his focus changed as he began to think of navigating life with just one arm. Kram’s accident recovery is still ongoing, but his positive outlook has shown Kram to be a strong, determined young man who has plenty of inner strength that can also help his family deal with the accident’s aftermath.
As previously mentioned, any car accident can have potentially devastating effects. But in Kram’s case, it’s made him even more resilient. An avid hockey player, Kram is determined to play again. For him, it’s not a matter of if, but when. He’s also determined to move forward in life with a positive attitude. His local community has helped raise more than $15,000 toward the cost of a prosthetic arm.
Kram’s accident recovery has and will continue to include multiple surgeries. But the young man’s tenacity is unmistakable. He’s kept his spirits high, even as he’s had to relearn how to do even the most simple of tasks. He hopes to return to work soon, go back to school to study aerospace engineering, and of course, get back to play hockey. His is an example of true grit if there ever was one.
As you can see, in many cases people involved in car accidents can persevere. Accident recovery of course can vary from person, but Kram’s story can certainly serve as inspiration for anyone who’s recovering from a car accident.
Whether you’ve been in a major car accident or just a fender bender, car accidents can leave you rattled. If you’re physically hurt, it can obviously take some time for accident recovery. But even if you’re not hurt, you might still deal with some emotional trauma.
Here are some helpful tips for recovering after an accident:
Focus On Yourself
If you’re going through accident recovery, there’s nothing wrong with taking some time to practice self-care. Whether you’re dealing with injuries and taking medicine for pain management, or you’re mentally shaken up, don’t be afraid to take time to focus on yourself. What should you do? That’s entirely what you think is right for the moment. Self-care may look like binge-watching your favorite show on Netflix. It might look like hanging out with family and friends. It might look like treating yourself to a day out.
But focusing on yourself also needs to mean focusing on good habits. As part of your recovery, you should focus on getting plenty of rest, eating healthy foods, and staying somewhat active.
File A Claim
Part of accident recovery also needs to include working toward practical solutions for the problems you face. If you have a car that needs repairs, you need to file a claim as soon as you can. Call your insurance agent, explain what you’re dealing with, and have them talk you through the process.
Explore Car Options
If in the event your car is totaled in an accident, you’re going to need a new one. If you’re looking for a reliable car on a budget, visit a used car dealership in your area. The chances are pretty good that you’re going to find a reliable vehicle with decent mileage at an affordable price.<[p>
If your car can be fixed, but is going to be in the shop for awhile, you can also visit a local vehicle rental company like Enterprise. If you have rental car coverage as part of your auto insurance plan, it covers so much of the cost per day for a rental car, and it’s a great addition to have if you ever have an emergency.
Visit A Doctor
As you proceed day by day through your accident recovery, you may notice that you’ve got some lingering pain or some symptoms that persist for quite a while. The best thing you can do is see a doctor. If you notice anything unusual—be it headaches, back pain, neck pain, or anything else—see a doctor as soon as you can.
You should also act quickly if you plan to file an insurance or legal claim. You’ll need some kind of documentation attesting to any medical issues as a result of the accident, so get in to see the doctor quickly. Don’t forget your medical insurance either. Chances are good that you have accident coverage, either through your healthcare provide or your auto insurance, so if you’ve been in an accident, your insurance may be able to cover at least some of the cost of medical billing.
Take Care Of Legal Issues
If you’ve been severely injured in a car accident, it might be the case that your life as you know it will never be the same. No one wants to be injured in an accident, but the sad reality is that life-altering injuries happen all the time.
If you’ve been involved in such an accident and you think you’ve got a case strong enough to pursue legal action, then you’ll want to visit a local law firm that specializes in accident cases. Doing it yourself is always a possibility, but partnering with someone who has ample experience in the law can ensure your case goes according to plan.
If you find good injury lawyers or good disability lawyers, they’ll know exactly how to present a case in court so that you have a strong chance of winning. This could provide you with much-needed funds to cover the cost of medical expenses, everyday expenses, and perhaps even the purchase of a new car.
Gaining Confidence Behind The Wheel
The reality is that after a car accident, it’s understandable if you feel lack of confidence in getting back behind the wheel. In some cases, drivers might not even want to get back on the road. But thankfully, there are things you can do to regain your confidence and get back to driving again:
Don’t Overdo It
One of the best things you can do for yourself if you’re trying to regain some driving confidence is to start small. Going for a long highway drive on your first trip out is not a good idea. Instead, have a family member accompany you as you go for a short drive around the neighborhood. Maybe you can find an empty parking lot where you can just practice basic maneuvering.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking baby steps and doing that will save you a lot of stress and anxiety about driving. You’re not in competition with everyone, so go at your own pace. If it takes you a few weeks or a month to get back to city driving or highway driving, that’s fine. Take things slow and work your way up.
Consider Driving Classes
Even if you’ve been driving for years and you consider yourself a very good driver, there are plenty of benefits to still taking an adult driving class. After an accident, it may be a good idea to take a driving class so you can brush up on the basic skills and maybe even learn some new ones.
The old cliché is that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But another saying says that you’re never too old to learn. One of the worst things you can do with many things in life is assume that you know everything. By attending driving classes, you can relearn some things you may not have paid much attention to before, or even learn new ways to do things on the road that are different than the way you learned them in driving school as a teenager.
Talk About Things
A big part of accident recovery might also include talking things out. You might talk things out loud by yourself. You might bend the listening ear of a friend or family member. Whatever the case is, it’s a good idea to talk things about before you drive, especially if you’re feeling anxiety or stress.
Being able to talk things out allows you to confront directly what you might be stressing about or what you might be fearful of. If you talk things out with someone, you may be able to face down your fears and anxieties much easier than if you were to try it alone.
Another avenue you have in talking things out, is to schedule visits with a counselor or a therapist. Sometimes the best thing you can do is talk things out to an impartial observer, who can dispense helpful advice. You may even be able to find a counselor who specializes in working with those recovering from car accidents. They’ll know exactly the kinds of things you’re going through, and can offer real help to you in your ongoing recovery.
Take A Break
It’s no secret that car accidents have a multitude of consequences and a lot of people involved. If the driver who caused the accident is put in prison, they might have to negotiate with a bail bond agent and pay a set free to get out before a court date.
If you’re involved in an accident and can’t work, you may have to enlist the services of an experienced tenant attorney to negotiate with your landlord.
The same goes for paying your bills where you might have to talk to heating contractors or credit card companies or cable companies to get some hardship relief. The point of the examples above is that accident recovery is a lot more than just healing physically or emotionally. A lot of it also involves trying to retain some degree of normalcy in life. In the midst of trying to find that normalcy, don’t be afraid to give yourself a break.
What does that mean? It means trying to gradually move past the accident. Stop blaming yourself for what happened. Stop reliving the incident in your head. Allow yourself to relax. Doing that allows you to heal mentally and physically after something so traumatic. Make sure you don’t push yourself too hard either. For example, if you’re able to return to work and you don’t want to drive, you can have a friend drive you or call a ride-sharing service.
Onward And Upward
As you can see from Dawson’s Kram’s story, accident recovery — after a car accident in any form — can be a long and arduous process. But with a positive attitude, determination and grit, anything is possible. No doubt it will take time, but by taking time to heal mentally and physically from a car accident, you can get back to some degree of normalcy in life, feel confident again behind the wheel or a car, and keep a positive attitude going forward.