Common psychological injuries in car accidents
Car accidents remain a major cause of death. It is estimated that over five million accidents are reported every year. Too many accidents result in fatalities, with one million resulting in serious injury.
Aside from the apparent physical effects, accidents can also have negative psychological and long-term effects. In most cases, however, injured victims do not file claims for emotional or mental anguish. This is despite the fact that personal injury laws allow parties to recover damages for psychological pain and suffering. It is important for victims to understand the types of emotional pain they can experience in an accident so that they can get help paying for treatment.
Sudden and unexpected traumatic events can cause depression. As a result, an accident can cause mental and emotional anguish. This can be experienced as a result of being involved in an accident or witnessing your family or friends get injured in accident. The emotional pain is often more acute in children or minors. This is because their minds are still not developed to handle severe trauma. Signs of emotional anguish include:
- Emotional numbness
- Overwhelming feelings of sadness
- Shifting between various emotions such as guilt, denial, disbelief and anger
- Social withdrawal
- Short concentration spans
- Changes in appetite
- Recurring memories and flashbacks
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Increased use of toxic substances
It is wise to journal and keep an account of what you are feeling. To build a strong case in your personal injury claim, you need to go for regular checkups and a psychological evaluation. You should also inform your doctor if you suffer any suicidal thoughts. Aside from getting the necessary treatment, he or she will document it which you can then use when filing a claim.
Once you have suffered a tragic accident, you may feel uneasy and uncomfortable about driving or even being in a car. This fear can develop into anxiety. It is normal to feel anxious now and then, but it can evolve into a serious condition that deprives the victim of a healthy, happy, and fulfilled life. There are several signs and symptoms of anxiety, among them:
- Feeling weak
- Tension or nervousness
- Trouble sleeping
- Increased heart beat
- Fear of impending danger
- General sadness
- Chest pain
Severe anxiety can also cause panic attacks. Severe feelings of heart palpitations, chest pains, and shortness of breath.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a mental condition that is triggered by a traumatic event. Flashbacks of the scene of the accident can trigger reactions. This can result in any of these common PTSD reactions:
- Emotional outbursts
- Uncontrollable thoughts
- Severe anxiety
- Intrusive memories
- Changes in moods.
It is often hard to put a monetary value on psychological pain. Again, in most states, you will find that there is a limit to non-economic damages. There are also some states where emotional distress damages are not optional. The general principle applied by those states is to issue a statutory cap on the damages that can be awarded for emotional pain.
The Need for a Personal Injury Attorney
Proving emotional damage requires expertise. This is why you should consult with a car injury attorney Des Moines IA relies on . A skilled lawyer can help you overcome the bias and prejudice against emotional damages shown by juries and judges. Choose an attorney who has represented many victims of both physical and psychological pain. Due to the emotional trauma that accident victims can endure, they deserve to be compensated based on the merits of their injuries.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Johnston | Martineau PLLP for their insight in car accident cases.