In 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 91,000 children under 12 were injured in car accidents. Sadly, many of these children suffered physical and mental damage. If your child was injured in a car accident, it is your job as the parent to promote healing and show your support.
When it comes to the legal side of things, that's our job. Let us help you get justice for your child's injury. Call 770-214-2500 for a free consultation.
If a child is injured in a car accident, they may be reluctant or unable to communicate that they have suffered an injury. Seeking immediate medical treatment, even for what may seem to be minor injuries, is extremely important to help your child recover from an accident. When seeking compensation for a child's injuries, it is vital to have a medical professional address and record the injuries.
Depending on the extent of your child's physical injuries, recovery from a given accident may require months of hard work. Accompany your child to physical therapy appointments, and encourage them to follow through with suggested stretches and exercises when home. Your child may be initially reluctant to stick with these exercises; your encouragement can promote full accountability and lead to significant gains in mobility and overall rehabilitation.
Working with a therapist is recommended for all children injured in Georgia car accidents. In addition, keep an eye out for symptoms including withdrawal from friends, a loss of interest in favorite activities, sudden weight loss/gain, changes in sleep patterns, or anxiety. Children aren't always equipt to handle the big feeling surrounding a traumatic event. While they may seem fine, trauma and mental illness can present themselves in strange ways among children. Consulting with a professional can help you and your child handle these feelings healthily.
The stress of a car accident can follow children for several months or even years. Their best bet for moving on does not involve repressing stress or anxiety but working with a therapist or psychologist to get into a healthier mindset. Your child's therapist will encourage healthy outlets for stress and serve as a valuable advocate for your child's mental health. Many children injured in Georgia car accidents, while unable to participate in conventional talk therapy, can engage in play therapy, art therapy, and music therapy with a licensed professional. Through these tools, the child's therapist can determine what steps to take to ensure your child's best mental health outcome.
Not all kids are willing or able to express their feelings to their parents or therapists adequately. Sometimes, music or visual art is more effective. Therefore, give your children numerous opportunities to express their feelings through various means, including music and artwork.
As a parent, you can profoundly impact your child's recovery. If medical bills prevent your child from obtaining the complete care they deserve, get in touch with Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP, to learn more about your options.
While you are recuperating from an accident, life goes on, and the expenses and obligations stack up. In addition to taking care of your child during this challenging time, you also may have sustained some injuries and must take care of yourself. You and your child's medical bills are mounting, you may have missed work, your car is history (or at least damaged), and you must deal with the insurance company. In addition, you can't work without being in pain, and you may need to care for your other dependents during this stressful period.
Worrying about the future hampers your ability to get better, which is your primary focus. Focusing on recovery is hard if you don't have someone to care for your and your family's needs. Reach out to family and friends. If you belong to a church, you may be pleasantly surprised by the help offered. If a family member or a boss contends that you're not that hurt – hard to believe, but it happens – ask your doctor to set them straight.
The initial route for finding good child or pet care is to ask family and friends, but if they can't help you, don't despair. If you are active on social media and your town has a local Facebook page, ask for recommendations for such services. In a worst-case scenario, you can board your pets at a local kennel or veterinary practice. If finding an at-home babysitter is a problem, your children may have to go into daycare temporarily or extended after-school care. Finally, speak to the providers regarding transportation. Another parent could pick up and drop off your children, or neighbors could help you.
You want to get better, return to work and ensure your children's welfare. You may feel pressure from your company about deadlines and projects on which you worked. See if you can work on some projects from home – if you are up to it. You aren't doing yourself or your employer any favors if such tasks are beyond you.
After a severe injury, it can take a long time to assess how badly you were hurt fully. The insurance company wants you to settle immediately – they are interested in their bottom line. Do not sign any agreements with the insurance company. Georgia law generally allows victims two years to file a lawsuit, so you have plenty of time to determine the extent of your accident-related disabilities. Ongoing rehabilitation may be necessary. The accident may have affected your ability to return to your job or earning capacity. Bear in mind that, depending on circumstances, you may be able to seek compensation for child care expenses or pet care costs you incurred while recovering.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, please call the experienced attorneys at Smith Wallis and Scott, LLP, at 770-214-2500 for a private consultation or explore more at swslawfirm.com.
Coping after a Georgia car accident injury isn't easy. In the weeks, months, or even years following your car accident, you may feel frightened, guilty, angry, or depressed. These emotions can fluctuate wildly and take over at a moment's notice. Unfortunately, they can also get in the way of leading a productive life. It is possible to get your emotions under control without repressing them, but it will take work.
Many car crash victims suffer road-based anxiety for years, even decades, following their accident. Your solution may be to stay far away from the driver's seat. Buses, carpools, and Uber make it possible to avoid driving on your own indefinitely. You might not actively need a car, but you'll feel far more confident once you've conquered lingering fears of going. Instead, enroll in driver's education or practice in quiet neighborhoods with a trusted friend. Face your fears head-on.
If a drunk, inattentive, or otherwise negligent driver caused your accident, you have every right to feel angry. But let that anger fester, and you'll never find true satisfaction in your new life. So instead, embrace the challenge of forgiveness, which Mayo Clinic experts call "a commitment to a process of change."
To hasten the forgiveness process:
The Smith, Wallis, and Scott LLP team is committed to delivering a favorable resolution so you can move on with your life. Reach out today to learn more.
Give the following tactics a try as you work through the feelings sparked by your accident:
Meditation is widely misunderstood, with many skeptics assuming its chief goal is to suppress emotions. This could not be further from the truth. Instead, meditation can teach you how to observe and respond to emotions more healthily.
When you feel overwhelmed with strong emotions, let a friend, family member, or significant other knows. This person should be willing to listen to your concerns without immediately jumping to conclusions.
Overwhelmed by emotions but unable to let it all out to a trusted friend or family member? Sometimes, a journal is the next best thing. Record in detail how you feel and why. While writing, you may be struck by several excellent insights that can help you overcome your pain.
You aren't crazy if you visit a psychologist. A mental health professional can give you a valuable perspective on your current emotional struggles. In addition, this person can help you determine whether you have PTSD or depression. Diagnosis is the first step to recovery, so scheduling an appointment is worthwhile.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) After a Georgia Car Accident: What Is It? What are the Consequences? Where Can You Get Help?
PTSD United estimates that 24.4 million Americans struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) at any given time. Keep reading to learn more about car accident-induced PTSD and how you can get help.
Post-traumatic stress disorder occurs in the aftermath of life-threatening incidents. Although typically associated with veterans, it is also regularly seen in survivors of sexual assault, terrorist attacks, domestic abuse, and car accidents. So, fear and anxiety are natural following such events. Still, for people with PTSD, this trauma takes its toll on everyday life, making it impossible to match past professional and academic achievements or maintain positive relationships.
PTSD symptoms vary significantly from one sufferer to the next. The disorder is immediately evident in some people but is incredibly difficult to detect in other cases. Common signs of distress include:
Are you concerned that you or a loved one might have PTSD? As a Georgia resident, you can access a vast array of resources. You can secure treatment at any VA Medical Center if you're a veteran. Female sufferers can find support in Marissa Coleman's Women's Trauma Group, which regularly meets in Atlanta's Virginia-Highland area. More intensive therapy is available at Riverwoods Behavioral Health, which employs a variety of empirically-backed approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapy, music therapy, and art therapy.
If your vehicle has been badly damaged or totaled, you will need to get around after your Georgia accident. Thankfully, there are plenty of fantastic transportation alternatives, several of which are highlighted below:
Is there a good bus line or light rail in your area? Take advantage of it. Public transit is affordable and surprisingly freeing — instead of getting outraged in traffic, you can relax on the bus and read a book, check your social media, or listen to music.
Uber is all the rage among Millennials who wish to reduce their carbon footprint and avoid DUIs. It's also an excellent option if you've recently been involved in a Georgia car accident. Use the app to request a ride — a driver will pick you up and drop you off at your desired destination. A popular alternative to Uber, Lyft, performs essentially the same function.
Although typically more expensive than Lyft or Uber, a traditional car rental may be viable if you have multiple destinations to visit or items to haul. Car sharing is also a great solution. Many cities have convenient and relatively affordable car-sharing programs such as ZipCar and Car2Go.
Can't afford Lyft, Uber, or a car rental? Your friends and family members may be willing to lend you their car for a few days or weeks, especially if you sweeten the deal with free babysitting, a meal out, or some other exchange.
The sooner you secure your Georgia car accident settlement, the sooner you can ditch that rental car and get back behind the wheel of your vehicle. Contact Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP today to get started.
You've suffered a terrifying Georgia car accident and are in no hurry to get back behind the wheel. Eventually, however, you'll need to resume your driving routine. The following tactics can help you work through traffic anxiety and avoid future collisions:
The suitable class will allow you to regain control after a horrific car crash. You'll learn to recognize dangerous situations and respond before a wreck becomes imminent.
The first time you get behind the wheel, ask a trusted friend or family member to ride along. Then, you can take solace in knowing that if the experience becomes too overwhelming, somebody else can take over.
There is a better time to tackle a four-hour journey to your cabin up north. Your first unassisted drive should last at most ten minutes. After that, travel to the bank, the grocery store, or a friend's house — anywhere you can reach without hitting nerve-wracking traffic.
If you contributed in some way to the car accident, use that experience to spur better driving habits. For example, drive the speed limit, make necessary adjustments in inclement weather, and ditch distractions such as cell phones, food, or loud music.
According to some trauma authorities, the longer you avoid the scene of an accident, the more you'll feed lingering anxieties. Consider stopping by the former crash site a few days or weeks after you've successfully resumed your status as a motorist—and recovered your psychological equilibrium—and assess how you feel.
There's no need to avoid your car indefinitely; with time, support, and a defensive driving class, you can return to your vehicle feeling confident in your ability to prevent future collisions.
As you deal with the anxiety of post-crash driving, let Smith, Wallis, and Scott, LLP handle the legal strategy to get you fairly compensated for damages you sustained in your Georgia car accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that over 2.44 million individuals were injured in car crashes in 2015. Survivors experience decades of physical suffering plus extreme emotional trauma. Recovery is a lengthy process, but these resources can expedite the journey and make your pain easier to handle:
Your physical pain and emotional suffering may seem unbearable, but it is possible to recover and emerge more substantial after a car crash. This compilation of stories from AfterTrauma will give you hope and make you feel less alone.
Driving anxiety is perfectly normal in the aftermath of a car accident, but an inability to get behind the wheel can compromise your job performance and social life. Follow these seven tips from Driving Peace to get back on the road with complete confidence.
On the hunt for unusual but practical solutions to accident-based emotional trauma? According to a 2017 NPR story, a simple game of Tetris may be your best option. The report highlights a recent study, which indicates that just twenty minutes of Tetris can block out intrusive memories.
The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association has compiled an extensive collection of statistics regarding the prevalence of auto accidents and the potential for compensation. While browsing through these stats, you'll learn about average liability claims, common causes of car crashes, and the cost of medical care for injured drivers.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety maintains rigorous standards highlighting each year's safest models. To be deemed an IIHS Top Safety Pick, vehicles must earn front crash prevention ratings of advanced or superior, plus good ratings in five additional crashworthiness tests. Top options for 2017 include the Hyundai Elantra, Mazda 3, Toyota Prius, Honda CR-V, and Chrysler Pacifica, among others. Keep this list in mind as you search for a new car.
Whether you were recently involved in a car accident or you have distant memories of a crash, you may continue to experience physical and emotional adversity. Share your story and learn how others have coped while visiting this forum from Experience Project.
Guilt and shame are common in the aftermath of car accidents, even for those who are not to blame. Whether you experience survivor's guilt or wish you would have exhibited better behavior behind the wheel, this article will help you address and resolve crippling feelings in the aftermath of your accident.
Learn more about the science of car crashes while watching this intriguing documentary. Award-winning teacher Griff Jones uses scenes from the IIHS Vehicle Research Center to demonstrate inertia and other essential concepts.
Need more help than the resources highlighted above can provide? Contact Smith, Wallis, and Scott, LLP, today for additional information.
Even unexpected setbacks can bring new and positive possibilities if you so choose. If you prefer, you can find value and fulfillment in every circumstance. - Ralph Marston
A painful car accident injury can change your entire outlook on life. Suddenly, every trip to the grocery store feels like an ordeal. Many survivors also suffer from PTSD and depression. The following are a few thoughts worth considering as you plan for a satisfying post-accident life:
Use the pain of your car accident to transform you into a better person. What can you, as a driver, do to prevent future crashes? First, take responsibility for your role (if any) in the accident, and vow to drive attentively and responsibly in the future. Set your goals in writing; researchers at Dominican University claim that those who physically record their aspirations achieve far more than those who merely think about their goals.
Some post-crash driving-related anxiety is natural. Persevere. Bring a friend if necessary, but get behind the wheel often so you can improve your skills and confidence.
Are you still stuck in a rut after a traumatic car accident? Look to the Stockdale paradox for motivation. Named after Vice Admiral James Stockdale, the theory presents an alternative to candy-coated optimism. Instead, it suggests that sufferers should acknowledge the reality of their situation but resolve to persevere anyway. Your post-crash dream life may not look exactly like your past ambitions, but you can accomplish great things with some grit.
Dr. Dennis Charney explains it eloquently here: "The Stockdale Paradox defines the optimism that is most important in becoming a resilient person, and that is, when you're faced with a challenge or a trauma, you look at that challenge objectively. You might assess, 'I'm in huge trouble.' You have a realistic assessment of what you're facing. But, on the other hand, you have the attitude and the confidence to say, 'But I will prevail. I'm in a tough spot, but I will prevail.' That is the optimism that relates to resilience."
As you look forward to a fulfilling post-accident life, don't forget the importance of strong legal advocacy. Contact Smith, Wallis, and Scott, LLP, today to learn more.
You'll never forget the phone call; someone you love has been injured in a Georgia car accident. Your day was going along like any other; you got the news. A catastrophic car accident severely hurt someone you love. Perhaps a runaway truck veered into your mother's car's lane, or maybe a teen driver immersed in text messaging T-boned the vehicle.
In any case, the situation has probably been quite overwhelming. Hopefully, your loved one survived. But no matter what happens, you face many challenges in the weeks ahead.
To that end, in this and upcoming posts, we'll discuss strategies, tactics, and resources to cope with the aftermath of a loved one's car crash. So call us for immediate, personal assistance.
A dear friend or loved one is hurt, and you want to help. What constructive steps can you take? We'll explore your options in a two-part post. (These are not presented in time-sensitive order, nor are they comprehensive. For insight into a legal case, consult an experienced car accident attorney. For medical advice, speak with a qualified doctor.)
If possible, get a ride to the hospital from a friend. Science suggests that learning about trauma can impair your driving ability, so play it safe. If necessary, use public transportation or ride-share service.
If you have babies, toddlers, or young kids, make arrangements for them as soon as possible against all else so that you can concentrate on your injured loved one. You may need to notify the school and have someone collect your children. Then, ask a relative or friend to take care of them for a few days.
Ask one or two people to spread the word so you do not have to rehash the news repeatedly.
You may need to inform your boss and your loved one's employer of the situation. If you can't be at work for a while, ask your Human Resources (HR) person about the company leave policy.
Be direct, and be specific. What do you need to serve your loved one, coordinate with doctors, and stay comfortable? For instance: get fresh clothes, toiletries, medications, your cell phone charger, and your tablet.
Get the report number and the name of the officer who went to the accident scene.
Time may be of the essence to preserve critical evidence from the scene of the crash before it gets cleaned up or forensic clues get lost. Our Smith, Wallis, and Scott LLP team can help you develop a battle plan. Call us at (770) 214-2500 for your next steps.
In the short term, your to-do list will likely be packed. (And it's not like you didn't already have a tremendous amount on your plate.) Among many other projects, you might have to notify employers, friends, and relatives; help with the immediate medical crisis; keep the family going with meals, clean clothes, and school; deal with insurance issues, and find a good lawyer. We'll explore challenges related to all these problems.
Depending on what happened, the echo of the accident could ring for some time. Over the long haul, you may need to deal with costly rehab; psychological fallout, loss of income to the family; and legal and financial crises. We'll walk you through what to expect and connect you with powerful resources to weather the storms ahead.
Undoubtedly, you're feeling strong emotions—overwhelm, anxiety, dread, perhaps numbness. But you don't have to go through these challenges alone! The experienced team at Smith, Wallis, and Scott LLP stands by to help your family understand and protect your rights. Call us at (770) 214-2500 for a confidential free consultation. We can help you reclaim control.
In a previous post, we cataloged seven smart steps after a loved one is hurt in a Georgia car accident. The first several days after this trauma can be disorienting. To that end, we've assembled a few more resourceful steps you can take to feel in control:
How did the crash occur? Who caused it? What's the car's status now, and what happened to the others involved? If your loved one is conscious, you may be able to obtain answers. Write down any information you get.
Can you reach/call people who saw the accident or experienced it as passengers or pedestrians? If so, get their names and contact information. Ask for their stories and copies of any cell phone pictures they took. The human memory is notoriously malleable: witness statements recorded right after a crash are much more accurate than those remembered days or weeks afterward.
Depending on your relationship with the injured person, you may be barred from learning about the medical treatment or prognosis. (If you're a spouse who has legal authority over your husband's care, you'll obviously have more power than if you're just a good friend.) Nevertheless, observe the care provided, take notes and ask good questions. Ensure your loved one isn't being ignored, and communicate any questions or concerns with staff. Be assertive (but avoid being rude).
Eat healthy meals (i.e., "real food" with good fats, healthy protein, and vegetables)—and don't fill up on junk food from the hospital vending machine. Rest if and when possible. Even a 20-minute nap is better than nothing. Get fresh air, talk to people you trust about your feelings related to the crash, and practice mindful breathing.
Aside from the medical/rehab challenges ahead, your loved one will likely need to deal with the insurance company, work, finances, and beyond. Write down everything on your mind about the situation, and compile a list to ask an experienced Georgia car accident lawyer. The clearer your perspective, the better aid you can give to your loved one.
Call the Smith, Wallis, and Scott LLP team for insight about what to do now. In addition, we offer free, no obligation, confidential consultations at (770) 214-2500.
Concussions are a significant alarm point for athletes, their coaches, and their parents. This concern is certainly warranted, but athletic injuries are far from the only source of concussions. For example, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that car accidents cause 14.3 percent of all traumatic brain injuries. Given the number of vehicles on the road in Atlanta, Douglasville, Gainesville, Carrollton, and other towns throughout Georgia, the risk of a concussion in an automobile accident also continues to grow.
The recovery process can be long and difficult for those concussed in car accidents. Caretakers play a critical role in diagnosis, symptom management, and improving the general quality of life. Below we'll explore steps you can take to support a loved one dealing with a car crash-induced concussion.
With concussions—as with most injuries—quick diagnosis is always better. The car accident alone should indicate possible trouble. Look for the following common symptoms:
Victims may not exhibit memory or concentration problems until several days have passed. Light sensitivity, sleep disturbances, or personality changes may also emerge with time. Watch for signs of second-impact syndrome, in which an additional concussion causes rapid swelling and symptoms mimicking the initial trauma—but worse. If you suspect a second concussion, get your loved one to the emergency room ASAP.
Seek prompt medical attention as soon as you note the symptoms outlined above. Additional resources for Atlanta area concussion victims and their caregivers include:
Have you or a loved one suffered a concussion due to a negligence-based car accident? The car accident lawyers at Smith, Wallis, and Scott can help you recover the damages you deserve. Call us at 770-214-2500 to schedule a free consultation.
A mild form of traumatic brain injury, concussions lead to intense pain, sensitivity, and other symptoms. Although these side effects typically disappear after a few days, some sufferers take weeks, even months, to recover. Detailed below are a few of the best ways you can encourage prompt recovery for a loved one concussed in a car accident:
From colds to concussions, rest is nearly always the best solution. Your loved one may feel tempted to tough it out and get back to regular life, but this could cause further injury, followed by an even more extended recovery period. Be the voice of reason during this challenging time, and encourage as much rest as possible—assuming that's what a qualified physician suggests. You can help by volunteering to care for your loved one's kids, completing chores, or cooking meals. If you want to hang out, choose relaxing at-home activities instead of hitting local bars or clubs.
Remembering details can be all but impossible in the aftermath of a concussion. Your loved one may struggle to recall dates for medical appointments or other essentials. Implement an easy-to-use system for recording notes and providing deadline reminders. Google Calendar and other apps can work wonders, but you may have to navigate the app independently, as concussion victims often find mobile devices challenging.
It could be sometime before your loved one can resume driving, biking, or even riding the bus safely. Ideally, this person will rest at home as much as possible, but your help can ensure easy access to medical services and other necessities. For example, arrange for grocery delivery or home health care if you lack time for actual car rides.
Sometimes, concussion victims need a shoulder to cry on. Recovery can be intensely painful but also frustratingly dull. Be prepared to listen as your beloved concussion sufferer shares the worst aspects of their experience. Your patience will not be forgotten. Seek additional support from Smith, Wallis, and Scott, LLP. Call us today at (770) 214-2500. We can help your loved one obtain fair, complete compensation for damages related to the car accident.
As a caregiver, you face the burdens of everyday life and time-consuming and stressful jobs such as disbursing medications and driving loved ones to medical appointments. With so much on your plate, it's easy to fall behind on sleep, exercise, and other elements of healthy living. If your health suffers, however, you'll find it much more challenging to provide the care your loved one needs. Follow these tips to find a healthy balance:
There's no shame in seeking help from more experienced professionals. In-home health aides reduce your driving and caretaking time, allowing you to focus on other pursuits. In addition, your health insurance or personal injury settlement may cover some or all of the cost.
Don't limit hired help to nurse and caretaking; cleaning and landscaping services can save you a great deal of time and stress—and they're more affordable than you think.
Make the most of each minute by combining fun with errands. For example, if you struggle to make time for both exercise and to socialize, attend a group fitness class with your best bud. You can also ask friends to visit you at home so you can be on-hand for caretaking necessities.
At least once a week, take a break from your caregiving duties and indulge. Whether your idea of pampering involves a bubble bath, beer, or your favorite TV show, you deserve a break. So refreshed, you'll provide far better care than you would if overworked and overstressed.
Smith, Wallis, and Scott can eliminate the legal burden from your caretaking ordeal, allowing you to focus on other important matters. Call us to start the process: we can help your loved one obtain justice and fair compensation: (770) 214-2500
Your loved one recently suffered a horrific car accident, and now, the mere thought of driving fills you with fear. Unfortunately, avoiding the road may be out of the question, especially if the car crash victim in your life requires transportation for medical appointments and courtroom endeavors. These tips will help you get over your crippling fear and return to complete confidence behind the wheel:
If you're afraid to drive, a busy freeway at rush hour is the worst place to confront your fear. Instead, stick to back roads and lighter traffic until you feel comfortable.
If driving alone makes you anxious, arrange carpools or ask a friend or family member to accompany you on errands.
Defensive driving classes equip participants with the knowledge and split-second instincts they need to ensure the best outcome in the event of a collision. Once you complete the course, you should feel more in control behind the wheel.
If driving-related anxiety refuses to go away or creeps into other elements of everyday life, visit a therapist or counselor. Cognitive behavioral therapy could prove particularly helpful as you deal with intrusive rumination; your therapist can teach you to reframe your thoughts and fix incorrect notions. You may also benefit from exposure and response prevention therapy, which involves a series of tasks closely related to the cause of your current anxiety. The goal is to make anxiety-inducing tasks feel routine.
The stress of driving is bad enough after a car crash—the last thing you need is legal anxiety as well. The Smith, Wallis, and Scott team can ease this burden and help your loved one obtain compensation; get in touch today at (770) 214-2500 to learn more.
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