If you’re feeling stressed out by life, you’re in good company. Consider these findings from the 2022 “Stress in America” survey by the American Psychological Association (APA).
- 87% of Americans feel stress due to the economy/inflation
- 81% feel stress due to supply chain issues
- 81% feel stress due to global uncertainties
All of this was enough to make the CEO of the APA (Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD) call 2022 stress levels “stunning relative to what we’ve seen since we began the survey in 2007” and express concern over “unprecedented levels of stress that will challenge our ability to cope.”
Injury accidents: stress upon stress
The effects of the pandemic, economy, and international conflict can all drive up stress levels, but when you experience an injury accident on top of this, you may find yourself struggling to stay afloat. Trauma from the accident can lead to PTSD, anxiety, depression, insomnia, nightmares, and more.
Will a lawsuit add to my stress?
If you have been injured due to the negligence of others, you may be thinking of filing a personal injury lawsuit. A lawsuit should ultimately relieve stress by allowing you to get the compensation that you deserve for time off of work, medical bills, and even pain and suffering in some cases.
Although filing a lawsuit may feel overwhelming, it need not be. Here are some tips to help you advance your case without adding to your stresses.
Team up with an experienced Utah personal injury attorney.
When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you will soon be dealing with the other party’s insurance company, and insurance companies are notoriously intimidating. Their top priority is their bottom line, and they are well-versed in strategies to discredit your case and protect that bottom line.
An experienced attorney will know exactly how to take on these insurance companies, anticipating and countering their tactics at every turn. They can help you know what information to share and what not to share so that you don’t hurt your case. They can be the go-between in what could otherwise be a series of stressful communications.
A skilled Utah lawyer can also manage the mountain of paperwork that comes with filing a claim. Though this paperwork may feel endless and confusing to you, a good attorney will have streamlined processes for completing it accurately and on time so that your case can proceed as efficiently as possible.
The laws surrounding personal injuries can be complex and nuanced, but a good attorney will know which laws best apply to your case and how they can be leveraged in your favor.
Make a to-do list.
While your accident injury attorney will do a lot of the heavy lifting for your case, they will still need you to accomplish certain tasks and provide information. When your head is swimming with dozens of random tasks, it can make you feel frayed and out of control, but lists and schedules can restore a feeling of control to your life. Get those tasks out of your head and onto paper.
Don’t try to do everything at once. Set up a reasonable time frame for accomplishing things and review it with your attorney. That way, both parties can come to an understanding of what needs to be done and when it will be done.
Lighten your load.
Adding a legal case to your schedule need not drown you, especially with the help of a good Utah injury lawyer, but because it will take at least some time from your schedule, you’ll want to offset it. Proactively think of ways to lighten your schedule.
If you are serving on a committee, you may want to take on less responsibility or take a leave of absence. If you are a student, now is probably not the time to pile on extra credits. If you have extended family living nearby, let them know that you may need extra help to get through this time.
There are a lot of documents to keep track of in the wake of an injury accident: police reports, medical bills, medical records, communications from your insurance company, etc. Make and label folders for organizing the documents. Depending on the type of documents you are dealing with, you may need both e-folders and physical folders.
Keep a record.
There’s a lot to remember after an injury accident, and it can be stressful to try to piece things together after the fact. Get a notebook (or start a computer document) and make a habit of writing things down as you experience them. This includes the details of the accident, dates of medical exams, a description of your injuries (and any changes to them—either for the better or worse), missed work days, etc.
Seek medical help.
Don’t try to go it alone where your health is concerned. Always see a doctor immediately after an injury accident. If they recommend tests or therapies, make sure to comply.
You may think that you don’t have time for these additional medical appointments, but you should be meticulous in following your doctor’s orders. Not only can this help you make a full physical recovery, it can also help improve the outcome of your lawsuit. It’s important to show that you have done all in your power to get better from your injuries.
Understand that this could be a long process.
A good personal injury attorney will move your case along as quickly as possible, but limiting factors could bog things down for a year or two or even more.
Especially if there is a lot of money at stake in your case, the insurance company will try to investigate every single detail to avoid paying out. This takes time! If the defendant is uncooperative and drags their feet, this will take more time. Your own medical care could also delay things, as you need to get an accurate picture of exactly what your healthcare needs will be long-term to calculate a fair settlement.
If you decide to go to court rather than settling out of court, this takes time as well. You’ll be waiting on a jury to be selected, a judge to have time to hear the case, more legal filings, and potentially testimonies from expert witnesses.
If you file your case thinking you just want things to resolve quickly and go away, you are in for disappointment and—more stress! Understand from the very beginning that the case is potentially going to play out for a long time. This will help you not to panic or feel frustrated when inevitable delays happen.
Adjusting expectations can also keep you from accepting a lowball offer just because you want to resolve your lawsuit. You’ll be better equipped to stay the course and wait for the full compensation that you deserve.
While your personal injury case is an important part of your life, it is just one aspect of it. Do your best to keep it in perspective by staying focused on other priorities. Designate time in your weeks to spend with family and friends. Stay as active as possible; exercise is a major stress reducer. Eat well. Stay engaged in those activities, hobbies, and relationships that keep you balanced and relaxed.
Accidents can damage your health, property, savings, and income. If the accident was someone else’s fault, you should not have to shoulder these burdens. Don’t pass up an opportunity to make things right through a personal injury lawsuit just because you are worried about the stress of it.
With mindful steps, you can pursue the case in a calm, organized manner and end up with compensation that will ultimately reduce stress in your life over the long run.