Can I be compensated for mental health trauma? Yes, you can. You may be eligible for compensation if you’ve been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression after a car accident. PTSD is a condition that results from a traumatic event, such as a car accident. It’s not uncommon for accident victims to experience various mental health issues, including physical pain and anxiety.
Why Discussing Mental Health Trauma is Important
When people get into a car accident, their mental health may also suffer. Just as physical injuries require treatment, mental health trauma can also result. These symptoms may affect a person’s sleep, work, and relationships for months. According to Alan Steinberg, the director of the UCLA Trauma Psychiatry Program, individuals may experience symptoms of PTSD months after a minor car accident.
The psychological impact of a car accident is tremendous, and it can affect the entire family, including drivers and passengers. Even a simple fender-bender can have long-term consequences. The American Psychological Association considers motor vehicle accidents the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People who are injured in a car accident may experience depression or anxiety. This is a serious condition and should be addressed by a healthcare professional.
While physical injuries are often the focus of an accident, the psychological effects are often overlooked. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, one-third of accident victims will develop mental health issues a year after the event. Even a minor car crash can trigger mental health problems that can prove debilitating. It’s easy for mental health problems to slip through the cracks after a car accident because people are busy addressing physical injuries and medical bills. They may not be aware of potentially serious mental health issues.
Emotional Trauma, a Person, Can Experience
Emotional trauma can develop in a variety of ways following a car accident. A person can experience physical injuries and the physical effects of an accident, and emotional trauma can cause various psychological conditions, from anxiety and depression to depression and PTSD. These effects may not be immediately visible but can be long-lasting and linger for years. Depending on the severity of the emotional trauma, a person may need more than a few visits to the doctor.
There are numerous symptoms of emotional trauma, and a lawyer can help the victim deal with these symptoms and maximize compensation. PTSD symptoms are common among accident survivors and can cause severe depression and anxiety. Physical injuries are measurable in terms of medical bills and car repairs. Mental trauma damages vary by state and jurisdiction. Mental health professionals may be necessary to determine the extent of the emotional trauma, and an attorney can explain the options available to help the victim fully recover.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms after a car accident vary. They may include:
- Feeling more agitated and irritable than before
- Snapping at family members
- Experiencing a reduced tolerance for work situations
A person with PTSD may also experience extreme, rapid-onset fear, making coping with normal circumstances difficult. The symptoms may sometimes even extend to a lack of self-control.
For people with PTSD, therapy for the disorder can help them overcome the symptoms of a severe car crash. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help patients learn how to change negative thought patterns, while exposure therapy exposes victims to the triggers of PTSD in a controlled environment. While denial may be tempting, it may inhibit your ability to move on and heal. Seeking mental health help is essential if the symptoms persist for months or years after an accident.
Some people with PTSD experience intermittent flashbacks of the incident, while others have recurring nightmares of the accident. They may also be highly sensitive to the sounds of other cars, similar weather conditions, or even passing by the location of the crash. This type of PTSD is particularly challenging to treat and requires extensive professional care. After a car accident, it can take years to heal. Fortunately, there is help.
Signs That Your Suffering From PTSD
There are many warning signs that you may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a car accident. Although it’s rare for a child to suffer from PTSD, some victims experience it.
PTSD symptoms include:
- Flashbacks of the accident
- Mood swings
- Recurring nightmares
Symptoms are unique for every individual, and a trained physician can assess the symptom patterns and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
The signs of PTSD after a car accident often start very early. People in a car accident often experience shock, disbelief, anger, grief, confusion, and fear. Many victims report reliving the incident in their minds and avoiding situations they would normally enjoy. These symptoms may even last weeks after the accident.
Symptoms of PTSD can make a person withdraw from their loved ones and avoid social situations.
In addition to the signs of PTSD, people who experience violent or traumatic events are more likely to develop the disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder can lead to physical health complications and thoughts of suicide. Therefore, getting a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible after a car accident is essential. Getting diagnosed can help you receive the compensation you need to deal with the impact of the incident on your life.
Signs of Depression After a Car Accident
If you’ve recently suffered from a car accident, you may be worried that you will develop depression. Knowing the signs of depression after a car accident is vital to getting the proper medical care. In many cases, the condition can even be life-threatening. Here’s how to spot the signs of depression after a car accident. Hopefully, you’ll find relief soon!
Immediately following a car accident, you will likely feel many different emotions. You may be worried about your injuries or angry with the other driver. These feelings may go away as time passes, but if they don’t, they may be signs of depression. For this reason, it’s important to seek professional help immediately if you suspect you’re suffering from depression.
Another symptom of depression is a loss of interest in things you normally enjoy. If you’ve experienced this, you may want to find a new interest and see a doctor. You may also feel chronic fatigue or difficulty sleeping. Depression can be a serious condition and should not be ignored. You should seek medical attention if you feel like this after a car accident. Depression after a car accident can also result in physical symptoms, including persistent headaches.
Speak With a Personal Injury Attorney
Recovering compensation for mental health trauma following a car accident can be difficult, especially if the victim was emotionally harmed during the crash. Regardless of the level of severity, mental pain and trauma can linger for weeks, months, and even years. To ensure that you are adequately compensated for these damages, you need to speak with an attorney skilled in this area. Your attorney will work with doctors and other professionals to document both parties’ injuries and mental state. These medical records can be presented to the insurance company and defense counsel to support your claims.
Mental health trauma after a car accident can affect a person’s personality and functioning. The ADAA defines trauma as “deeply disturbing and upsetting events that lead to significant changes in the victim’s life or the lives of others.” A car accident may result in a person experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), recurring nightmares, or depressed mood or anxiety. Likewise, avoidance-based behaviors may develop and decrease driving to work or important events.