Lockdown Depression: The Connection Between Mental Health, Injuries, and the Healing Process

a woman in a neck brace and her husband look sadly at a bill

In the midst of a global pandemic, it can be hard to fight feelings of hopelessness, despair, and depression. Nearly half of all Americans say the coronavirus has had a negative impact on their mental health. While this is bad news in and of itself, the ripple effect of depression and anxiety may cause even more significant harm. Studies show that there’s a direct connection between psychological stress and wound healing. If you’re struggling to overcome an injury or even the coronavirus itself, depression and anxiety can slow healing and make it harder to bounce back.

Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement

After an accident, the insurance company or at-fault party may be eager to settle as quickly as possible. While the idea of grabbing quick cash and putting the whole thing behind you might sound appealing, it’s important not to settle a claim before reaching maximum medical improvement, or MMI.

Let’s say, for instance, that you suffered whiplash in a rear-end collision. The driver behind you is clearly at fault, and you’re ready to pursue damages related to the injuries you sustained. The other driver’s insurance company will probably be quick to offer a one-time payment to settle the claim. Accept the settlement, and you’ll be required to sign a release that waives your right to pursue additional damages.

If you accept that settlement before reaching maximum medical improvement, you could be stuck footing the bill for future medical expenses relating to your whiplash. Since many of the worst kinds of whiplash symptoms don’t show themselves right away, settling too soon could be an expensive mistake.

This concept applies to virtually all injury claims. Whether you find yourself involved in a car accident, bitten by a dog, slipping down a set of stairs, or any other kind of accident, you’ll want to pursue compensation only after reaching MMI.

COVID-19 and You: Healing During a Pandemic

If you find yourself the victim of an accident amidst the pandemic, you may not heal as quickly as you’d like. Given what we know about the scientific connection between mental health, physical health, and the healing process, it makes sense that your body isn’t bouncing back as fast as it might under normal circumstances.

There are a few things you can do to boost your recovery efforts. For starters, if you’re feeling down, make an appointment with a therapist and a psychiatrist. There are many therapeutic and pharmacological tools you can employ to ease your mental health symptoms. Chat with your primary care doctor, too – by looping them into the struggles you’re facing, your physician can take a more holistic approach to treatment.

Handling Expenses While Recovering

The road to a full recovery can be a winding one, but it helps to remember that you’re not alone in your journey. Even if you haven’t reached MMI, you can still begin the process of filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney can give you much-need insight into the deadlines and priorities you’ll need to keep track of while healing. Start by documenting every medical appointment you attend, every prescription you have filled, and every doctor’s bill you receive.

Watching unpaid medical bills pile up can add to your stress. An attorney can negotiate a lien agreement with your medical providers to wait for payment until you receive your settlement. They can also negotiate fee reductions or payment plans on your behalf.

Seek Legal Representation Now

Don’t let COVID-19 stop you from seeking the justice you deserve. Personal injury law can be complicated – insurance adjusters often bank on accident victims being too anxious to settle their claim fairly. If you’ve been injured in an accident and are unsure of how to proceed, contact McCraw Law Group today.

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