Sometimes a car accident can leave you with injuries that affect your ability to return to work. If you’ve been in a car accident, you might assume you can go right back to work, but then your injuries have left you with limited mobility or requiring a significant recovery period. It helps to know what to do after a car accident so you can prepare yourself for the best recovery plan possible so you can return to work.
Any time you’re in a car accident, it is vital that you seek medical treatment right away, no matter how mild your pain or discomfort may be at first. Car accident injuries are also known as ‘hidden injuries’ because the trauma of the accident can fill you with adrenaline and mask your symptoms at first. Once you’ve had a chance to rest you might notice more symptoms that you hadn’t realized were there before. That’s why it can be helpful to see a doctor as soon as possible so they can assess you for any hidden injuries and avoid any delay in necessary treatment.
Discuss Returning to Work with Your Doctor
When your doctor develops a treatment plan for you based on your injuries, they will also talk to you about how your injury has affected your mobility, which may include your ability to successfully complete your job. Car accident injuries that require surgical intervention may also come with longer recovery periods than you might initially think, so it’s helpful to have a conversation with your doctor about what to expect.
Your doctor can prepare you for the road to recovery after a car accident, while also documenting all the details of your injury and treatment for your insurance claim. When you return to work, you may likely need a doctor’s note that provides proof of your injury to your employer. A doctor’s note is generally helpful for you to discuss with your employer what aspects of the job may be affected by your recovery, including any temporary or permanent physical limitations.
Avoid Going Back to Work Too Soon
How long should you stay out of work after an accident? The worst thing you can do for your healing process is to try and go back to work too soon. Your body needs a certain amount of time to heal and recover from your injuries, and getting back into your regular activities too soon can have unintended consequences. If your body isn’t ready for that level of activity or pressure, it can actually worsen your condition, causing work injuries, or slow down your healing process. Talk to your doctor about concerns you might have about getting back to work, whether they be financial burdens or concern for losing your job. Your doctor can talk with you about when would be a realistic time to return to work and what you might be able to do to help aid the healing process once you are back at work.
Continue Attending Doctor’s Appointments
The best thing you can do for your healing process is to continue attending all your doctor’s appointments. Not only is this helpful for your recovery, but it also clearly demonstrates for your insurance claim that you are taking your treatment seriously and that the injuries are indeed as severe as they are listed. You should complete your treatment plan with your doctor from start to finish, and even talk with your doctor about any physical therapy or other rehabilitation efforts that might assist in your recovery process. Even once you’re back at work, your doctor may have follow-up appointments where they can check on your progress. These appointments are also a great way to discuss any symptoms you might be experiencing or that might be exacerbated by certain activities at work. Complications may arise that don’t necessarily mean you can’t keep going to work, but it will help your doctor to know about these as soon as possible so they can make sure your treatment plan is as effective as possible.
While getting back to work is of utmost importance, you will likely want to get back in the swing of things like exercise routines and recreational activities. Talk to your doctor about what activities and exercises you participated in prior to the car accident. Depending on your injury, some exercises may need to be modified until you can participate fully once you’ve recovered and healed. At AICA Orthopedics, we are here to help you know what to do after a car accident and help you through the entire treatment and recovery process.