How to Recover After a Georgia Car Accident Injury

How to recover after a Georgia car accident injury Smith Wallis and Scott Carrollton attorneys - image of a doctor wrapping up a patients hand in bandages
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Coping After a Georgia Accident Injury

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. 

Fear of the Road After a Georgia Car Accident

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.

Lingering Resentment

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:

  1. Write a list of how the responsible driver's behavior harmed you.
  2. Develop a second list detailing your contributions to the accident (if any) and reasons for self-anger.
  3. Read each listed item and mentally affirm, "I'm sorry, and I forgive you." You may not believe the mantra at first; continue the exercise for a week, and your feelings will begin to change.

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.

Recovering After Your Georgia Car Accident

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.

Lean On Loved Ones

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.

Write In a Journal

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.

Visit a Therapist or Psychologist

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.

Coping with PTSD After a Georgia Car Accident

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.

What is PTSD?

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.

How Trauma Can Change You After a Georgia Car Accident

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:

  • Constantly reliving the car accident
  • Regularly revisiting the crash site
  • Upsetting dreams about the collision
  • Hopelessness about your future
  • Feeling detached from loved ones
  • Feeling easily startled (for example, responding irrationally to sudden, loud noises)
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Overwhelming and irrational feelings of shame

Seeking Help After a Georgia Car Accident

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.

Getting Around After a Car Accident

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:

  • Public Transit

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 and Lyft

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.

  • Car Rentals and Car Sharing

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.

  • Borrowing Vehicles

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.

Learning To Drive Again After A Georgia Car Accident

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:

  • Enroll In a Defensive Driving Course

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.

  • Drive With a Friend

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.

  • Begin With Brief Drives

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.

  • Learn From Your Mistakes

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.

  • Revisit the Crash Site if You're Comfortable Doing So

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.

8 Resources for Victims of Georgia Car Accident Injuries

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:

  • Survivor Stories

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.

  • Here are 7 Ways to Cope After a Georgia Car Accident

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.

  • How Playing Tetris Tames the Trauma of a Car Crash

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.

  • Cost of Auto Crashes and Statistics

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.

  • IIHS Top Safety Picks For 2017

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.

  • Experience Project: I Was in a Car Accident

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.

  • Tips for Dealing with Guilt After a Car Accident

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.

  • Understanding Car Crashes: It's Basic Physics

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.

Looking Ahead to a Better Life After Your Georgia Car Accident Injury

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:

Confidence Behind the Wheel

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.

Embrace the Stockdale Paradox

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.

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