I was in a vehicle accident in Daisy Hill, Logan. I thought I was fine – we were not at fault and our insurance would cover the cost. Adrenaline was pumping as we dealt with the details. Ambulance, a fire truck and the police had all attended with sirens blaring and lights flashing. The ambos were considerate and questioning, but I told them I was okay. I was more concerned about the wreckage than myself.
The next day things changed. Enormous bruises started to discolour my legs. My shoulder started aching, and my neck area was tender. Flashbacks of the accident came with memories of the noise and fear. The next day as I was driving and I heard a thump and promptly dissolved into tears that came from nowhere, and I pulled over to the side of the road and wept. I had always considered myself stoic and now felt foolish for the emotional wreck I had become.
There are so many mixed emotions after an accident – from the big feelings, the meaning and fragility of life to the petty emotions – annoyance and embarrassment that it happened and frustration of losing valuable time to deal with the consequences.
Covid times had made access to Doctors limited, so a phone consultation provided the expected advice (over-the-counter pain medications and recommendation to visit the local hospital if symptoms worsen) and I continued on.
As the enormous bruises eventually started fading away the shoulder pain worsened. Sleeping on the uninjured side became the norm and I began using my “good” arm most of the time. I have bee hives and removing the honey-loaded frames up and out of the boxes produced agonizing pain. My employment was very physically active, and achieving goals became harder. I started on light duties, and my teammate had to take over more of my workload. I eventually started having a week off every month to recuperate.
Although I had been told to talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer, I brushed the advice aside. “It’s only a shoulder injury, and I will get better soon”, but I didn’t improve.
Months later, I returned to the Doctor and asked for help. Physio and exercises became part of my weekly routine and the Doctor recommended I find a Personal Injury Lawyer. The cost of Physiotherapy became the incentive, and I started the Personal Injury Claim Journey. It was a straightforward procedure to sign up. The insurance company promptly began paying for the physiotherapy and reimbursed me for the invoices I had already paid. I ended up changing jobs to one better suited to the more limited capabilities of my shoulder.
About a year after the claim began the injury had settled into what was considered a stable place, and I was given a compensation amount.
Even today – a few years later, my shoulder still causes occasional pain, but thanks to the Compensation offered my expenditure on treatments, pain medications, massages, loss of work and superannuation, and ongoing physiotherapy is all covered. Compensation is not a road to easy riches, but it does take away the pain of financial loss an accident can cause, and that was a blessing I remain very grateful for.
Here are the things that I found out in my journey –
- Even if the other at-fault driver is uninsured or unlicensed CTP insurance will still cover your personal (physical and emotional) injuries.
- You are covered by CTP Insurance if you are a passenger or a pedestrian.
- Police – Call 000 if someone is trapped or injured, or if a police presence is required to direct traffic or deal with hazards like spilt fuel or downed power lines, or if any drivers appear affected by drugs or alcohol or anyone involved refuses to exchange details. Otherwise you can report the accident within 24 hours to Policelink ph 131444 and you will be provided with a report number which will assist with any insurance claims.
- After an accident, be aware it takes time for the adrenalin to wear off and injuries to become apparent especially soft tissue and whiplash injuries if your head has been unexpectedly shaken back and forth on impact.
- Get information at the accident scene. Personally, I found this was hard. I was in no mood to gather information, but it was essential. Suggested are the other driver’s details, including address, Rego number and owner details of the other car, witnesses details, photos of the location, vehicles and damage. This information makes claiming insurance for property damage or personal injury much easier later.
- Contact your own insurance company and follow their process. (Many insurance companies have an App to lodge a claim)
- Most importantly – don’t forget to take care of yourself. There is only one of you!
- Drink lots of water. Hydrating your body will help your muscles and soft tissue heal more quickly.
- Try massage to relieve pain. Don’t forget to let the therapist know about the accident so they can work with your body to encourage muscle recovery.
- Get enough rest. Give your body a chance to heal. Take time off work if required.
- See a Doctor if you are concerned. It usually takes 24 hours for whiplash, bruising and other soft tissue injuries to become evident. The Doctor also will tie any accident injury with future medical bills if you need to make a personal injury claim.
- Physiotherapy – Talk to a physiotherapist. I have found Champion Health fantastic. The physiotherapist listens to your concerns and works out an action plan for exercise and stretching. If you have a Personal Injury Claim in place, ask your Doctor for a referral to a Physiotherapist and leave this for the insurance to pay for.
Don’t be like me and be tardy with starting a recovery program, hoping your body will heal! I slowed my recovery by thinking my body would “just get better.” I regret wasting time and not starting the Personal Injury Claim and Physiotherapy Program much earlier. If you need help – help is available. Compensation from CTP Insurance will enable the treatment and time to allow you to get back on track. Have a chat with one of the friendly lawyers at Revolution Law for a no-obligation, free consultation.