From the terror and pain of the collision itself to the slow process of recovery, motor vehicle injuries often involve both physical and emotional trauma.
To make matters worse, survivors often must cope with mounting medical bills, forced time off work, impaired mobility and deep uncertainty over the future.
In fact, recent research has found that a significant number of car accident survivors develop one or more psychological disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.
Auto accidents are often traumatic events, and they are one of the leading causes of PTSD. Those experiencing this anxiety disorder may relive the incident in vivid, disturbing detail via intrusive flashbacks or recurring nightmares. Individuals may also develop anger management issues and begin to avoid places, people or activities that trigger memories of their accident.
Accident survivors may also develop other types of anxiety, including panic attacks, social anxiety or a phobia of driving.
Symptoms may include both emotional changes, like trouble concentrating, constant feelings of nervousness, fear or irritability, and avoidance of loved ones, as well as physical symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, chest pain and high blood pressure.
Injured individuals may not be able to do many of the things they once enjoyed and may have to live with chronic pain. This can easily lead to isolation from family and friends, overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and helplessness and a general loss of interest in life. Symptoms of depression may include sudden weight loss or gain, fatigue, irritability and persistent feelings of overwhelming sadness.
Psychological disorders can have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life. Those injured in an auto accident may be able to receive compensation for the emotional as well as the physical damage caused by another’s negligence.