Recovering from a Hit-and-Run

If you were the pedestrian victim in a hit-and-run accident, you may have more than physical recovery to worry about. Many hit-and-run victims also deal with psychological trauma; even if the driver later returned and turned him- or herself in, you may be facing a long, uphill battle toward recovery.

How Most Humans Are Wired

We’re wired to have compassion, empathy and concern for others—particularly those who are weaker—and when someone doesn’t show those traits, it can be psychologically shocking to other people. In the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident, when the victim has been injured and the driver knows it, the driver is showing a complete lack of empathy.

What Kind of Person Hits a Pedestrian and Leaves the Scene?

Forensic clinical specialist Dr. Paul Clements, a professor at Drexel University, says that people who commit hit-and-run crimes with no regard for the victim’s well-being are often the type of people who lack good moral judgment.

“Mostly what you’re looking at is (sic) people who blame others for their behaviors. [They feel] that it was an accident, and they either blame the person for getting in their way or [the victim] should have been paying better attention,” says Clements.

Recovery from a Hit-and-Run: Positive Thinking Goes a Long Way

Psychologists suggest that reframing your experience in a more positive way may help you cope with what happened to you. For instance, you were hit by a negligent driver who left the scene of the accident, but you know that it was not personally directed toward you; the person was simply selfish and put his or her own interests before yours.

In many cases, having a “takeaway” that you consider positive can help you recover more quickly. Perhaps you learned that you would never be so uncaring as the driver, or you discovered that you’re physically capable of more than you thought you were prior to the accident.

Worry, on the other hand, can delay your recovery. Rather than fretting over whether the person who hit you will get his or her just due, leave it in your personal injury lawyer’s hands.

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