Many people want to put their car accident behind them and resume normal routines as soon as possible, and while this is sometimes possible, your health needs to come first. If you have suffered an injury or are experiencing back pain after a car accident, returning to things like work immediately may not be the best idea. This can be stressful as you consider if you can afford to take time off and when the right time to go back is. You and your doctor can work together to make a decision that is right for you based on your injury and treatment plan.
Injuries May Not Appear Immediately
In addition to any injuries caused by the actual impact in a car wreck, our body can also have a hormonal reaction to the situation. Adrenaline is quickly released into the system, which can make you feel like you are not hurt and can carry on as normal for hours or even days after the incident occurs. One of the dangers in this period of time is that you can overexert yourself and make injuries worse before you even know you have them!
The best thing is to wait until this has worn off completely so that you can truly understand any injuries you might have sustained. Typically, about three days is enough time for this process to take place and to begin feeling delayed symptoms. The first days after a car accident can be stressful on their own, so taking this time to rest and handle any immediate needs can also reduce stress going forward.
Does Time Off Impact Insurance Claims?
Many people worry that taking time off work, or choosing to return, will impact their insurance case and legal proceedings. In some ways, this is true. When a settlement is issued, lost wages are an area considered for compensation in addition to other expenses. Though you are likely to be reimbursed in this scenario, that may not happen until after the case is settled.
However, time off work is not a requirement for a successful insurance claim. If you have been properly assessed by a doctor and determined that your work will not worsen symptoms, you may be able to return to work after suffering an injury and still receive a fair settlement. If your doctor does not think it’s wise for you to return to work and you choose to anyway, that may also be recorded and any further injuries can be excluded from the claims.
When to Consider Taking Time Off
In addition to the initial window after your accident, there are some cases that may necessitate more time off than others, depending on your injury and field of work.
Many of these concerns come from those who work in manual labor that requires them to be strong and healthy, and these jobs are often most impacted by injuries. But you may also consider taking time off if you work a desk job. One reason is the risk of concussion associated with a car accident- if your head was hit or jerked quickly enough for your brain to be jostled, you could suffer from this mild traumatic brain injury. Even without knowing you have a concussion, the prolonged use of screens at an office can worsen these issues.
If you are experiencing back pain after your car accident, sometimes the position we sit in at desk chairs can exacerbate the issue and worsen the condition. If the injury becomes more severe, you may be liable for the continued damage brought on by an early return to work.
Ultimately, you and your doctor will need to work together to decide the right option for you. This involves weighing your diagnosis, your financial situation, and your insurance claim, but your health will be the doctor’s top priority.
Decision Making with Experts
In order to do the right thing, you’ll want a team of the best specialists behind you. At AICA Orthopedics, we offer a central location with access to chiropractors, orthopedic specialists, physical therapists, and more, who can work together to create a treatment plan that is right for you. Whether you are suffering back pain from a car accident, are not showing symptoms yet, or have exacerbated an old injury by returning to work, AICA Orthopedics offers comprehensive care in a convenient location. As car accident specialists, we are also able to assist with proper documentation of medical records and insurance claims so that you have the best information possible. Call us today to schedule your first consult!