Coping with PTSD, anxiety, depression and other trauma after a serious crash
Car accidents are usually associated with the physical injuries and trauma that people experience. However, there is an unseen emotional and psychological side that also needs to be considered when you are trying to heal from a car collision.
In Georgia, it’s possible to receive compensation for mental trauma after an accident. Taking care of your emotional health gives you the best opportunity for complete healing.
How can a car crash affect your mental health?
Research shows that experiencing a car accident puts you at a higher risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although you might have heard PTSD being associated with combat service in the military, it can actually develop after any type of physically or mentally traumatic experience, including a serious crash.
A car accident can take a large toll on your emotional health. At the moment of impact, you likely experienced a great deal of fear for yourself and everyone else involved. It’s also possible you witnessed horrific injuries or damage at the scene.
PTSD is not the only mental health condition that can arise after a car accident. You might struggle with depression or guilt. If you experienced major physical injuries, then it’s also common to grieve the loss of your former abilities. Many people struggle with long-term anxiety symptoms that may get worse when they attempt to drive or ride in a vehicle.
What are the common symptoms of emotional trauma?
The symptoms of emotional trauma may occur immediately after the accident, or they can arise in the future. PTSD symptoms often involve constantly reliving the experience. You may find yourself having nightmares about what happened, and intrusive thoughts can also occur throughout the daytime hours.
In addition to flashbacks, you may also experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Increased anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Fear of getting in another car
These emotions can interfere with your ability to “move on” after the accident. Developing a fear of driving, for example, can prevent you from seeing loved ones, going to work and resuming normal life. Feeling guilty, angry or even embarrassed makes it harder for you to lean on your support network when you most need help.
Why is it important to treat psychological symptoms?
Trying to brush off PTSD symptoms is never a good idea. Emotional health conditions often get worse, and it’s common for 1 to contribute to the worsening of another. If you develop PTSD that limits your daily activities, then you might also begin to develop symptoms of depression since you won’t feel like you have positive things in your life to keep you going.
As a general rule, emotional trauma is easier to treat the sooner you seek help.
How is emotional trauma compensated?
Compensation for emotional trauma is based upon several factors. Since your accident, you might have sustained costs for psychological care, including assessments to help diagnose your mental health condition.
You might also need recurring therapeutic services and medication which adds additional expenses to your recovery. Just like your other healthcare costs, these may be covered by personal injury compensation.
Many people also get compensated for their pain and suffering. Although it’s hard to tell the true costs of someone’s suffering, there are general guidelines that insurance companies and lawyers use to determine how much someone might need to be compensated for PTSD and other car accident-related mental health trauma.
How should you document emotional trauma?
The symptoms of PTSD are often invisible to others, which may leave you wondering how you can prove that you were traumatized by a car accident. This is where good record keeping can help. Start saving receipts and bills from any healthcare you receive regarding your emotional trauma. You can submit these to your lawyer for them to use in your case.
You might also have people who can make witness statements about what they have seen you go through. If you miss work time due to anxiety or other mental health symptoms, then take note of this as well.
All of the proof you can find for your emotional trauma works together to help build your case.
Is it better to settle or file a lawsuit?
When you are already dealing with so much, it might be tempting to just settle with the insurance company or other parties involved. After all, the thought of a lengthy legal battle probably doesn’t seem ideal when you are anxious or unable to sleep well at night.
Although it might be hard, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit if the settlement offer is not enough to cover your costs. Emotional trauma tends to take a long time to heal, which means that you may need enough compensation to handle lengthy amounts of therapy.
Can a lawyer help you get compensation for psychological injuries?
You might feel overwhelmed by your symptoms right now, but you don’t have to feel alone. Our Georgia auto accident lawyers know how to seek compensation for you to help cover the emotional and financial costs of your trauma. When life feels shaky, knowing that someone is working behind the scenes on your behalf helps you to feel more confident about your recovery.
Your lawyer can also help you to know what is normal regarding compensation for emotional distress. This way you don’t make a hasty decision on a settlement that costs you down the road.
While cuts and bruises tend to heal quickly, the marks left on your emotional health can linger long after you’ve physically recovered. Emotional trauma typically requires time and professional help for you to fully work through. Being able to cover the cost of therapy and the effects that mental anguish has on your life helps you focus on moving forward with a positive perspective on life.