Across the United States, car crashes occur just about every minute of the day. Millions occur every year.
When we discuss car accidents, we usually talk about the physical injuries to the victims and their belongings. Less often discussed is the emotional trauma that can follow an accident.
Emotional trauma is common
Emotional trauma is exceedingly common immediately after an accident. Indeed, the most common emotional impact is shock and disbelief. Luckily, for most car crash victims, these feelings pass quickly.
Post-traumatic stress symptoms
Others are not so lucky. Some experience post-traumatic stress.
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress can include restlessness and an inability to go or stay asleep, which may or may not be caused by nightmares.
Anxiety around driving or riding could grow to the point where you can no longer drive or ride in a vehicle. You may find yourself irritable and have trouble dealing with excessive anger and worry.
As these symptoms progress, you could begin to feel disconnected from others. And, you may find it impossible to think about anything other than the car accident, like the accident is on a non-stop loop in your brain.
Just as you seek medical attention after a car accident, if your emotional trauma does not quickly fade, seek mental health attention.
You can start with your primary care physician, who can likely make a referral. Even if they cannot, your PCP can work with your therapist or counselor as a team to make sure your mental and physical well-being is treated equally.
Emotional trauma is just as compensable as physical trauma, so let your car accident attorney knows about your emotional trauma. Document how it has affected you, any payments you made for treatment and any diagnosis you received. Your attorney can use this to get you the compensation you deserve and need to help you get back to normal.