Did you know that 17% of traffic accident victims are readmitted to the hospital after going home? Although most people successfully recover from accidents while recovering at home, some have to go right back to the hospital.
According to a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the top reasons for rehospitalization after car accidents are:
- A need for follow-up surgery (63%)
- Acquiring an infection (26%)
- Falls due to the physical effects of accident trauma (11%)
One health organization found that of all of the causes for hospital readmissions, including those related to traumatic car accidents, 75% were preventable. So let’s look at how you can minimize the chances of your rehospitalization.
Don’t Leave the Hospital Too Early
First, stay in the hospital as long as your doctors recommend. Don’t request an early discharge even if you think you feel fine. Car accidents commonly involve health conditions like shock, concussion, brain damage, and deep tissue injuries, all of which can be hard for someone to detect themselves.
If you demand to be discharged too early, it could impact the quality of your care and your ability to get your medical bills paid. In the period following your accident, you’ll discover that the value of an insurance accident claim or lawsuit depends largely on proving that you had proper medical care.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Make sure you follow your doctor’s orders and don’t do little things that could interfere with healing. That means don’t skip taking medications, get lax about rehabilitation, or miss important doctor’s appointments.
If your doctor wants you to rest in a dark room, which is a common treatment for concussions, do so for the entire recommended period. Or if you’re on bed rest with no heavy lifting for 6 weeks, don’t start rearranging the garage just because you’re bored!
Resist Taking Risks That Compromise Your Care
People often end up being rehospitalized because they take risks that cause them to fall and become re-injured. Someone with a broken leg from a car accident might overestimate their ability to walk around, leading them to stumble and fall down the stairs. Then, they are back in the hospital for the new injuries. Note that these subsequent injuries may be claimed as part of your personal injury case, but it’s not a slam-dunk argument. Even, if you get compensation for these later injuries, it’s no fun and only makes your recovery from your original injuries that much more painful and time-intensive.
Post-accident risk-taking behavior puts your health in jeopardy. For example, in the NIH study we mentioned above, more than half of the accident victims in the rehospitalization study were young, male motorcyclists. Many had severe damage to their limbs (47%) and skull injuries (24%), yet many were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days because they couldn’t handle the “physical, emotional, and moral limitations” of the recovery period.
So as hard as it may be, avoid taking risks that could lead to being reinjured. Give yourself the time it takes to recover.
Be Alert for Post-Traumatic Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
After a car accident, anxiety and depression are common. Traffic accidents are traumatic events and it can take a long time before your mind heals entirely, even if your body is starting to feel better.
- Engage in positive self-care like:
- Following your doctor’s orders precisely
- Avoiding putting pressure on yourself to recover faster
- Meeting your daily basic needs like eating, bathing, and socializing
- Talking to a mental health provider about dark thoughts and other concerns
- Re-approaching mobility with caution and guidance from your doctor
- Asking a trusted friend to help with your recovery plan
Arrange for Follow-Up Support Services
Don’t let the costs of follow-up care scare you away from getting all the care you need. In California, you can recover accident compensation for future medical costs as well as current medical bills.
This includes aftercare like rehabilitation, follow-up surgery, and ongoing mental health counseling. You might even need in-home care that calls for the support of a rehabilitation specialist.
If you’re not sure whether your aftercare will be covered, talk to the insurance company and connect with a traffic accident lawyer who can help you get your costs covered while maximizing your compensation.
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, our priority is your health and safety. We’re here to help you avoid hospital readmission and – whether you go back to the hospital or not – recover as fully as possible from your accident.
“We found Sally Morin and her team through Yelp and now after our case has been settled better than we could have ever imagined we are very happy to give her 5 stars just like everybody else does. Her whole team is beyond friendly and knowledgeable and they are just wonderful people, they have attention to detail and are very personal and prompt in their answers. They also did a great job of making the terminology of their trade understandable to us and they kept fighting for a good settlement instead of going for the easy route. They don’t have to have billboards or cheesy TV ads because they get more than enough work through referrals from clients like us.” – Nicolas K.
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