When we think of accidents such as car or truck wrecks, our minds go to the physical injuries a victim might suffer. However, we often forget to consider one equally important part of the body’s response to a vehicle collision: the psychological injuries that impact the mind’s wellbeing.
Psychological injuries following car accidents are extremely common. Yet, many people don’t realize that they can recover damages for these injuries just as they can for physical injuries.
Many survivors of car crashes are able to make full physical recoveries. Although they may be able to walk, talk, and resume their normal life following the crash, they may suffer from severe psychological consequences. Stress, anxiety, and mental health problems can plague them for years to come, affecting their ability to work, sleep, and enjoy their life.
Learn more about the psychological responses to injuries that crash victims may experience.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Although PTSD is often associated with war veterans, motor vehicle crashes are actually the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder in the United States. According to a study from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 39.2% of MVA survivors develop PTSD.
Symptoms of PTSD could include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Emotional distress reactions to reminders of the crash
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Aggressive outbursts
- Car accident flashbacks or nightmares
- Detachment from loved ones or hobbies
- Difficulty concentrating
- Startling easily
- Suicidal thoughts
- Intrusive memories
- Severe mood or behavioral changes
Symptoms of PTSD can manifest after any car accident, regardless of the magnitude, although survivors of particularly violent car crashes are more likely to develop PTSD. Deadly crashes in which a survivor has lost a loved one or family member are also more likely to develop PTSD, emotional damage, and possibly feelings of guilt over surviving while a loved one did not.
Survivors that are experiencing PTSD or other emotional distress symptoms must seek the help of an experienced mental health professional. Therapy, treatment, and other forms of recovery can prevent symptoms of PTSD from worsening over time.
Fear of Driving and Other Psychological Responses to Injuries Following Vehicle Collisions
Survivors of car accidents may also suffer from an intense fear of driving. Anxiety relating to vehicles can severely impact a person’s ability to resume normal life, go back to work, or attend school. For some, the fear of driving may last a short while, perhaps for weeks. However, others may suffer from this fear for months or years on end.
A fear of driving could also lead to other psychological responses, such as severe and crippling anxiety, intense flashbacks, blackouts, physical distress, nightmares, and other debilitating side effects.
Children that suffer from a fear of vehicles can also experience bedwetting, regression, outbursts, and poor performance in school. It is urgent that children see a behavioral specialist if they’re experiencing these symptoms following a car accident, otherwise this could impact their life for years to come.
Seeking Compensation for Mental and Emotional Suffering
If you or a loved one have suffered in a car accident caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another, you may be able to seek damages to cover your mental and emotional suffering. PTSD, extreme depression, anxiety, and other symptoms can severely impact a person’s life. You can reclaim your life by seeking compensation for noneconomic damages including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Mental anguish and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Grief or bereavement in the case of a wrongful death
- Psychological damage and suffering
If you need treatment, see a mental health professional who can help you move on with your life following the wreck. However, we know that these services can be extremely expensive, especially if you have already missed work due to the crash.
Work with the experienced Atlanta car accident lawyers at Rafi Law Firm to pursue financial compensation for your losses. We can help you build your case to obtain fair recovery from the at-fault party. Victims of car accidents have the right to pursue damages for both physical and emotional injuries.
Let us help you. Call us at 404-800-1156 to schedule your risk-free case evaluation.