Psychological Effects Of Car Accidents

Airbags and other safety features can safeguard a person’s body, but what about their mind? Whether the accident was severe and caused significant complexity and loss or minor and only left you with a scratch, both might cause mental distress. If a loved one died in the accident, the psychological consequences may be more severe.

A person’s response to an accident may be quite different from another person’s response involved in the same accident. Nevertheless, healing mental damage is much more challenging, time-consuming, and expensive than healing physical injuries. 

Having said that, if you sustain physical or mental harm as a result of another person’s or company’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation by speaking with a Schaumburg based personal injury lawyer.

Let’s learn more about how a car accident can affect someone mentally. 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder- PTSD

The most common repercussion of surviving a car accident is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Experiencing a catastrophic situation can result in post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a psychological and behavioral condition. It is marked by persistent discomfort or anxiety, flashbacks, aversion to comparable circumstances, and obsessive thoughts about the experience. 

We come across many people who loved driving but after the accident, they developed a phobia of driving automobiles. It is their post-accident mind that is trying to keep them safe by avoiding a dangerous situation like the accident. 

According to this study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 39.2% of car crash survivors acquire PTSD. The study also concluded that people who have been experiencing or had experienced depression in the past are more prone to developing PTSD post a car crash. 

There is a difference between feeling stressed and being a PTSD patient after an accident. The symptoms of PTSD are more severe and take time to recover. Many people give up on driving because they keep seeing flashbacks of the accident, leaving them very uneasy. 

These are some common symptoms of PTSD: 

  • Feeling anxious, nervous, and depressed 
  • Getting frustrated over small things
  • Experiencing a lot of fear or panic attacks
  • Avoidance behavior
  • Changes in the way you react to everyday situations
  • Intrusive thoughts or memories- described as unpleasant phrases and ideas that frequently cross your mind involuntarily. 
  • If the accident involves death or a severe injury to someone, people end up blaming themselves for the mishap.
  • Heightened and persistent irritation
  • Anxiety merely from being in a car
  • Avoiding the prospect of driving once again
  • Headaches 
  • Isolating oneself 
  • Lack of sleep and remembering the accident in the dreams. 
  • Startling easily
  • Suicidal thoughts

The aftermath of PTSD or overstress following an accident frequently results in the driver giving up driving. Just the thought of sitting in the driver’s seat or even in the passenger’s seat can leave the affected person feeling stressed and anxious. 

Seek professional help

If your sanity has been compromised due to a car accident, we recommend that you seek professional help immediately. There is very less knowledge about Psychotherapy, so try to learn more about it and take professional help to recover from this distress. 

One might still be scared to get on the road again, and that is okay, but you should at least be able to carry out daily tasks without any stress caused by the accident. The therapists will help you out of this situation in an effective manner. 

Do not be hesitant to ask for help. Many people keep falling farther and further down the rabbit hole of worry and despair until they reach a point where nobody can save them.

If someone you know or yourself is experiencing stress post a car accident, meet a psychologist before it’s too late. 

Monetary compensation for psychological damage post car accident.

Mental damage can last for as short as 2-3 weeks to as long as a year. The next thing that you should be doing after seeking professional help from a therapist is to contact a good Tampa car accident lawyer, (or one in your area) who can help you get compensation for your loss. 

There are certain conditions that need to be proven in order to get you a valid compensation. For example, you might have to submit evidence that you are seeking professional help for the stress caused by car accidents. You might also need some eyewitnesses to prove your/your loved one’s unusual behavior. 

Bottom Line

Dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a result of a car accident, is certainly challenging to cope with. However, with the right help, support, and love, pulling yourself or your loved one out of the quicksand of stress is very much possible.