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The Physical and Mental Effects of a Serious Injury That Wasn’t Your Fault

8th July 2020

Whether it’s your fault or not, a serious injury can have a lasting effect for years to come. Find out how a serious injury may affect you, physically and mentally, right here…

Anybody can suffer a serious injury at any point in their daily lives, resulting in long term physical and mental difficulties that make performing tasks at work and at home harder than they were before. That said, it’s not always clear how best to deal with this once it happens, so how can you learn to tackle these unexpected issues?

In the event that an injury was the result of someone else’s error and not your own, you should consider claiming for a serious injury to cover the costs of your incapacitation. That said, the financial implications are by no means where your woes will end.

Here, we’ll be delving into the common physical and mental side effects of a serious injury, to give you a clearer sense of it all. We’ll also provide a list of serious injuries, delve into the causes of them, and give you some advice on how to cope if you’re the victim of one. Ready to learn?

What are the Common Causes of a Serious Injury?

Serious injuries happen every day, be it on the road, in the home, during sport, on the streets, or anywhere in between. One of the most common places to fall victim to a serious injury is in the workplace, especially the industrial sector. These injuries can range from minor injuries to much more serious issues which can be life-changing. Some of these workplace accidents include:

Repetitive strain and overextension: this is more of a long-term hazard caused by performing the same tasks over a long period of time.

  • Machining accidents: these happen seemingly out of nowhere due to hair or lose clothing entering a piece of machinery.
  • Falling objects: this type of serious injury is most likely to occur on a building site where people are working above you with heavy objects that can be easily dropped. They could also happen in supermarkets or any workplace where items are stacked on high shelves.
  • Slips and trips: these injuries don’t always occur at work. Slips and trips can happen wherever there are a mop and a bucket, or in a location with debris or clutter on the floor.
  • Vehicle collisions: these collisions can take place at any job that requires you to drive a car, however, most vehicle related-workplace injuries involve forklifts as the trucks often overturn.
  • Falling from a height:  any job where you have to work on a ladder or at the top of a flight of stairs, you are at risk of suffering this type of serious injury.

If you’ve suffered injuries in the workplace you should consider calling a personal injury or industrial injury solicitor to claim for compensation and cover your living costs whilst you’re out of action.

The Mental and Physical Damage of Serious Injuries

A serious injury can have a huge impact on your life, both physically and mentally. Some of the main ways this may affect you could include:

The Physical Impacts of a Serious Injury

When you think of a serious injury, the first thing that comes to mind is something that causes damage to the body or internal organs. For example, a car accident might cause damage to the brain, which results in mental impairment. What’s more, damage to the spine often results in physical limitations or paralysis. Here are some other serious injury examples, and their effects:

Long-Term Physical Damage

  • Traumatic brain injuries have the ability to cause memory loss, reduce cognitive and motor function, and damage speech, hearing and vision. They vary wildly from mild to severe and, at the extreme end, they can induce comas and provoke seizures.
  • Neck, back and spinal cord injuries have more of a physical effect on the body including long-term or permanent damage of the vertebrae, nerves, or muscles. They can cause chronic pain, loss of sensation and motor skills, and in the more extreme cases, paralysis.
  • There are also face and eye injuries that could cause disfigurement and blindness.

Short-Term Physical Damage

Not all serious injuries cause long term damage to the mind and body. In fact, a serious injury can also be classified as a broken bone, hip injury, or even a burn.

Broken bones can reduce your ability to work and live your normal life, and in some cases even require physical therapy or surgery to heal. Hip injuries can also reduce mobility, and burns can cause a great deal of pain if they’re severe enough.

The Mental Impacts of a Serious Injury

Although physical impacts are certainly very important, what may be perhaps even more important are the mental impacts of these incidents. Indeed, long after the physical impacts of an injury are gone, the mental scars can take longer to heal. Some of the ways an accident may impact your mental state could include:

  • PTSD: any accident can cause stress and anxiety when returning to these certain situations.
  • Panic attacks: these are a common occurrence after a serious injury has occurred, especially when the person is reintroduced to the accident environment.
  • Insomnia: these issues can also impact sleep, leaving the person struggling to fall asleep at night, and impacting their energy in the day.
  • Depression: someone who’s been injured, and cannot live their life as they once did, may end up shying away from social activities, and remaining in their homes as much as possible.
  • Self-recrimination: people can often blame themselves, especially in instances where the person did or didn’t do something that resulted in the injury.

These are just some of the many ways in which a serious injury can psychologically impact you. Clearly, the long-term mental impacts of an injury can be extremely prevalent and serious.

How do you Tackle the Effects of a Serious Injury?

Now that we’ve been through the various injuries that can occur, and how and where you might fall prey to them, it’s time to discuss how to manage the effects…

Getting Over Physical Trauma

The most obvious way to deal with the effects of an injury is to speak to your doctor and heed their advice. If they tell you to leave your cast on for 3 months, you leave it on for 3 months. If they ask you to do some physical therapy, make sure you do it.

You could also set yourself realistic goals using the SMART acronym. These are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals that you plan for each stage of recovery. This will give you something to work towards, helping you to recover from your serious injury more quickly.

Another way to assist with your body’s recovery is to keep moving. Obviously, this is a bad idea at the early stages of your injury, but once your body has started to heal it’s a good idea to ignore the urge to stay still and protect the damaged area. If you move, your muscles will stay strong and scar tissue won’t attach to your muscles and bones.

It sounds crazy, but breathing is also a great way to recover from a serious injury. When you exhale your muscles relax, so making deep breathing a part of your daily routine, especially when your pain is at its peak, is a good idea.

Getting Over Emotional Trauma

Those are just some of the ways to protect your physical body, however, the effects of a serious injury aren’t always caused by the injury itself. Often, when people suffer a physical injury, they experience emotional pain as they are unable to take care of themselves and this makes them feel weak.

One way to get through this is to focus on the parts of your body that don’t hurt and try to take your mind off your injury altogether. This is another instance where setting SMART goals would be helpful. If you are able to do a little more every day, it will belay the emotional toll of your injury.

The best way to avoid self-recrimination is to take responsibility for what happened, understand that you didn’t do it on purpose, and move forward with whatever rehabilitation you are doing. People make mistakes in life, and beating yourself up over them will only make you feel worse. Learning from your mistakes will also prevent you from making them in the future.

No matter the emotional pain felt after a serious injury, it’s always important to lean on friends and family. It’s easy to shut yourself off and let your own thoughts on your injury flow through your mind and cause damage, but offloading your concerns is one of the best ways to dam the river.

Don’t take this too far though; as important as it is to ask for help, you don’t want to become dependent on a friend or family member for everything. It’s good to make sure you’re doing your part towards getting on the road to recovery.

Ready to Recover?

Throughout this post, we’ve discussed different types of serious injury and where and how they can occur. We also went through ways to keep your physical body-safe after suffering a serious injury, and how to keep the emotional effects under wraps.

Hopefully, after reading this, you have a better idea of what a serious injury is and how to manage it. Remember, if your accident was the fault of someone else, especially an employer, you should make sure you receive compensation to cover your bills whilst you’re out of work.

Have you ever experienced a serious injury, and have any thoughts to add? Perhaps you’re even recovering from one right now, and this has resonated with you? If so, feel free to leave a comment below; we’d love to hear your story.

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