A car crash is a violent, unexpected event. If you think about one, you may think about all the physical injuries you might suffer: internal injuries, broken bones, neck, or spinal injuries. But it’s not just your body taking a beating. Many car accident survivors also need mental health care. You can absolutely be compensated for PTSD and other mental health injuries. However, insurance adjusters will often offer nowhere near what you deserve or need for continued treatment. For this reason, you should contact a lawyer before you settle or speak with the insurance company.
Tyler Fleck does more than protect the legal rights of car crash victims. He’s part of your team, helping you get your life back on track. He’s there with your healthcare professionals, friends, and family members, doing his part. Tyler understands the stress you’re going through. If you need a car accident lawyer in Elizabethtown or anywhere in Kentucky call The Fleck Firm for a free consultation at (270) 446-7000.
Trauma Can Be Emotionally and Physically Harmful
After an accident and the initial shock fades, many of us don’t recognize how it affects our emotional and mental health, according to an article by the Anxiety & Depression Association of America. Emotional trauma need not be the death of a family member or surviving a natural disaster.
It can be anything deeply distressing or disturbing. People can be traumatized if they’re a driver or passenger in a car in an accident. You could be traumatized if you suffer a minor injury, but someone else is severely injured or killed. An outside witness or someone coming to the scene to help could suffer emotionally. You may find medical treatment for your injuries very traumatic.
If you’re suffering through long-lasting or permanent physical or intellectual limitations due to your injuries, emotionally you’re not only trying to cope with the accident, the pain of the injuries, but how they’re impacting your life. Just as you’re getting help for your physical injuries, get the emotional support you need.
Surviving a Car Accident Can Result in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
After an auto collision, you may experience emotional distress. It’s normal that while you’re recovering, you may feel increased stress like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): anxiety, depression, anguish, fear, sleep disturbances, and nightmares about the crash. If symptoms stop you from functioning normally, it’s a sign to get help.
If you’re dealing with post-accident PTSD, it may be impacting your loved ones too:
- Family members may have a difficult time living with you. You may be easily startled, suffering nightmares, and avoiding social situations
- Your child and spouse or partner may be directly impacted. You may develop problems with close family relationships. You could have issues with trust, closeness, communication, and problem-solving. This can change how loved ones respond to you
Anyone can develop PTSD, according to the National Center for PTSD. Many factors can increase the risk you’ll develop it, including if the accident was very intense or you suffered physical injuries. Personal factors, such as age and gender can impact if you’ll develop PTSD. What happens after the accident will impact you too. Additional stress will make it more likely, social support will lessen the risk.
PTSD can happen to anyone. It’s not a sign of weakness. Surviving traumatic events is common. About 60% of men and half of women experience at least one trauma. For women it’s more likely to be sexual assault and child sexual abuse. Men are more likely to go through serious accidents, physical assault, combat, disaster, or witness death or an injury. About 7% to 8% of the population will have PTSD during their lives. About eight million adults will have PTSD during any given year.
You don’t need to suffer from PTSD. There are effective treatments that can get you past this. Don’t let it stop you from enjoying your life, or cause problems with your relationships, work, or school. You can improve in many ways. Treatment may result in your symptoms going away. If they continue, they may be less severe, or you’re better able to cope with them.
Trauma-focused psychotherapies are a highly recommended type of PTSD treatment. They focus on your memory of the accident or its meaning and how you process the experience. They can include visualizing, talking, or thinking about the accident. They might also focus on changing harmful beliefs about the trauma.
Anxiety and Depression After a Car Accident
You may suffer anxiety and or depression after the crash, whether or not you have PTSD.
It’s normal to feel stressed and anxious after a car accident. If it lasts a long time and affects your life, get help. You may randomly experience panic attacks or extreme stress. You may suffer headaches, dizziness, develop a fear of driving or getting into a car. Help for severe anxiety can include medications, biofeedback, yoga, and meditation. Professional therapy or counseling should also be options.
Your chances of being depressed increase if you’ve been in an accident. You may lack confidence, have new fears and anxieties, which lead to changes in your life. Depression usually shows as depressed moods, a lack of interest in regular activities, sleep problems, lost appetite, low self-esteem, and problems with concentration. It can cause problems with relationships and at work. If severe and untreated, depression can lead to suicide.
A mental health professional could provide therapy, guidance, and counseling. They might prescribe antidepressants and suggest other treatment methods. “Self-help” can include more time with friends and family, eating a better diet, getting more exercise, and adding structure and routine to your days.
Have you been in a Car Accident in Elizabethtown and need an attorney?
If your mental health needs help after your accident, you should get it. There’s no shame in getting assistance after a car crash, whether that’s for broken bones or serious anxiety. You wouldn’t ignore a fractured leg, why think severe depression or PTSD will go away? The costs of professional help you need to cope should be included in a settlement or jury verdict.
If you have been involved in a car accident and need a lawyer, call The Fleck Firm for a free consultation at (270) 446-7000. We’ll talk about the accident, your injuries, the law, and your best options to proceed. Insurance companies have lawyers. You should have one too.