What Are the Psychological Effects of Being in a Car Accident?
The aftermath of a car accident can be physically painful — but many of us tend to overlook the psychological impacts these collisions can have. From the development of mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder to long-lasting impacts on our daily activities, the mental toll of a car accident can be overwhelming. However, you do have legal options available to recover from this psychological damage.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After a Car Accident
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that involves overwhelming feelings of fear, uneasiness, or anxiety following a traumatic event. These emotions are common after a car crash, but if they linger or become stronger, they can impact your daily activities and make it difficult to enjoy activities you once loved.
Symptoms of PTSD after a collision often include the following:
- Uncontrollable flashbacks or memories about the car accident
- A constant feeling of uneasiness
- Overwhelming feelings of rage or worry
- Anxiety around driving or riding in a motor vehicle
- Difficulty sleeping
- A feeling of disconnection in regard to events or people
Who Is at Risk for Developing PTSD?
According to a study from the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 39.2% of car accident survivors develop PTSD following a collision — a shockingly high number. In addition, psychological experts state motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of PTSD in the general American population.
You may be at a higher risk of developing PTSD after a car crash if you have a history of prior trauma or mental health conditions. In addition, if you experience high levels of emotion such as fear or helplessness during or immediately after a car accident, your PTSD development risk may also increase. A lack of social support after the accident may also aggravate this condition.
What Treatment Options Are Available for PTSD?
If you believe you developed PTSD after a car accident, it is important to seek mental health treatment as soon as possible. Your doctor or psychiatrist will help you identify your condition and create a symptom management plan, which may include medication, therapy, and other forms of treatment.
Paying for this necessary treatment can be difficult, even with health insurance. However, a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim can help you pay for damages associated with your car accident, including the cost of mental health care.
Economic damages can cover the cost of medications, therapy appointments, and other psychiatric treatment. Non-economic damages can compensate you for the emotional pain and suffering you endure as a result of the PTSD, along with other psychological impacts such as anxiety, depression, and a loss of quality of life.
Do You Need an Attorney for Your Bakersfield Car Accident Claim?
If you are suffering emotional, physical, and financial damages following a car accident, you need a Bakersfield car accident attorney on your side who can advocate aggressively on your behalf. Hiring a car accident lawyer can benefit your case in a number of ways, including access to a wide network of resources, well-honed negotiation skills, and knowledge of personal injury law.
Contact your car accident attorney today to discuss your case and determine which pathway to compensation is right for you.