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What Are the Psychological Effects of Being in a Car Accident?

Posted in Car Accidents on January 25, 2021

In many ways, a car accident can be just as psychologically damaging as it can be physically harmful. While most people only think of the physical injuries and property damage involved in a car accident, survivors understand the immense emotional trauma collisions can bring with them.
If you experienced adverse psychological effects after being in a car accident, you can seek financial compensation for emotional distress during your injury claim in Texas. A lawyer can help you prove this intangible loss.

What Are the Psychological Effects of Being in a Car Accident? 1

Mental Anguish and Emotional Distress After Car Accidents

A car accident can be a traumatic experience for those involved; especially those who suffer serious injuries or watch loved ones die in car crashes. A car accident is an abrupt, frightening and often severely damaging event. The collision itself can lead to psychological effects such as anxiety about riding in a car, nightmares and flashbacks.
If you were seriously injured in a car accident, your injuries could also contribute to emotional distress or mental anguish, such as through a long-term injury and lost enjoyment of life. For some people, the psychological effects of surviving a car accident can be substantial enough to cause a diagnosable condition, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological condition that occurs in people who have witnessed or experienced traumatic events. It is commonly diagnosed among veterans who have been in war and combat zones, for instance, as well as survivors of sexual abuse. A car accident survivor could suffer PTSD if what he or she saw, felt or experienced in the collision was traumatic enough to cause long-term mental distress.
According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, PTSD occurs in about 7% to 8% of the population – meaning around eight million adults have PTSD on any given year. Post-traumatic stress disorder can come with many different symptoms for a car accident survivor.

  • Fear or anxiety, especially about cars or driving
  • Avoidance of anything that reminds the person of the crash
  • Emotional and physical reactions to triggers
  • Mood swings or personality changes
  • Depression and withdrawal from others
  • Nightmares or trouble sleeping
  • Flashbacks (involuntary memories of the car accident)
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions/self-harm

Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health conditions after a car accident. Other common diagnoses are depression and anxiety. Emotional, mental and psychological conditions after a car accident can have a substantial effect on a victim’s life. The victim may be unable to return to his or her normal life or job. The victim may also have to pay for psychological therapy or counseling. Although nothing can fix the immense trauma associated with a car accident, a victim in Texas may be eligible for related financial compensation to help pay the bills and move forward.

Can You Seek Compensation for Emotional Distress?

Yes, you can seek financial compensation for emotional distress and psychological trauma after a car accident in Texas. If you experience any symptoms of emotional distress, such as loss of enjoyment in daily activities, mood swings, stress or anxiety, depression, nightmares, or phobias, you can seek compensation for emotional injuries along with your car accident claim. You can seek compensation for the following noneconomic damages:

  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Inconvenience or embarrassment
  • Phobias or anxiety
  • Psychological trauma
  • Grief or bereavement
  • Lost enjoyment of life
  • Lost quality of life
  • Loss of consortium

The courts will view these as pain and suffering damages, for which you can recover a monetary award – but only if you or your car accident attorney can prove the existence of emotional distress. Proof may come in the form of medical records and statements from your therapist, as well as witness testimony and an injury journal. Work with an attorney right away for assistance with a car accident claim involving psychological trauma for the best possible results.