Thomas Dennis / 08-17-2021 / Car Accident

How Can Car Accidents Affect a Driver Psychologically?

How Can Car Accidents Affect a Driver Psychologically?

Physical injuries are not the only consequences car crash victims can face. Many car accident survivors also struggle with psychological stress, anxiety, and mental health conditions after the crash. Studies show that crash-related mental traumas can have symptoms that can be long-lasting, which is why compensation should take into account future expenses and suffering. 

Psychological Effects of a Car Accident

The psychological effects of a car crash can be as painful and damaging to a victim as physical injuries. Mental and emotional injuries after a car crash can include mental anguish, emotional distress, fear, anger, humiliation, anxiety, shock, embarrassment, random episodes of crying, loss of appetite, weight fluctuations, lack of energy, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, and sleep disturbances. 

If the mental and emotional symptoms do not decrease following the crash, you should see a mental health professional. Letting your mental state deteriorate could cause secondary complications such as relationship issues, conflicts at work, and at the extreme, an inability to function normally in daily life. An experienced Orlando car accident lawyer can help you gather evidence to determine who is liable in your car accident and hold them accountable for your physical and mental injuries.

Some injuries are not immediately recognizable after an accident. When the body experiences a trauma like the impact of a car crash, it is common to suffer from some form of stress, anxiety, depression, or phobia following a traumatic car crash.  

What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Car accidents can be mentally challenging, leading to anxiety, feelings of panic, and stress that stays with the victim l after the collision is over. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition developed from surviving a traumatic event, such as an auto accident. a traumatic event such as a loved one’s death in a car crash or severe physical injury could inflict enough psychological harm to cause PTSD.  

Emotional distress after a collision can have long-lasting effects. Symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Car accident flashbacks
  • Nightmares about the crash
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Emotional distress reactions to reminders
  • Detachment from loved ones
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Aggressive outbursts
  • Mood swings
  • Severe anxiety
  • Depression

Car accidents that are especially violent, catastrophic, or damaging are more likely to lead to mental health issues in survivors than minor vehicle collisions. Deadly crashes involving loved ones, for example, could inflict lasting emotional damage. Obtaining prompt treatment from a mental health professional can keep symptoms from worsening over time.

Understanding Depression after a Car Crash

Depression occurs when a person goes through some type of life change or trauma that causes them to lose interest in day-to-day activities, withdraw from people and social situations, and turn their focus inward on their problems. People with depression often claim they have no energy or motivation. They find it difficult to feel joy or happiness.

The following are some symptoms of depression that a victim can experience following traumatic events such as auto accidents.

  •   Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things
  •   Decreased energy and fatigue
  •   Feelings of worthlessness or helplessness
  •   Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  •   Appetite loss or weight gain
  •   Feeling sad or empty
  •   Thoughts of suicide or death

There is a possibility that psychological damage from a car accident could be eligible for compensation within your recovery settlement. A victim with PTSD or other psychological effects from an auto accident should seek professional help from a doctor right away. Then, the victim should hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to help them pursue financial compensation for pain and suffering caused by the crash. 

Recovering Compensation for Pain and Suffering

Mental and emotional injuries are typically non-economic damages referred to as pain and suffering. Mild mental or emotional distress cases can include crying, anger, appetite loss, lack of energy, loss of interest in sex, difficulty sleeping, or mood swings. More severe mental or emotional injuries can be diagnosed as psychiatric conditions such as PTSD, Depression, Phobias, etc.

Florida is a No-fault insurance state. In an accident, you must first seek recovery for medical bills and loss of income from your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy.  PIP only covers the first $10,000 of an injured person’s medical expenses.  PIP will not pay out for pain and suffering. 

You can pursue a claim against the at-fault driver if you suffer severe injury. However, the victim’s injuries must meet Section 627.737 of the Florida Statutes requirements for injury severity to qualify. According to the statutes, the injury or disease must consist of

(a) Significant and permanent loss of an essential bodily function.

(b) Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability

(c) Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.

(d) Death. 

To receive compensation for your mental or emotional injury, you will likely need to show how much the car accident has negatively impacted your psychological health. This can range from providing evidence that:

  • You have been medically diagnosed with a mental or emotional health condition
  • You have been receiving prescribed treatment for your condition
  • Personal eye-witness accounts of your behavior at work or in your day-to-day life

Talk to Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers Regarding Your Claim 

The personal injury lawyers at Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A.  understand how to identify and gather evidence to support all your damages so you can pursue the maximum possible settlement. We may also increase the economic claim to cover treatments and mental health care related to the psychological effects of a car accident.  

Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, PA has been working with personal injury victims for over 50 years, recovering hundreds of millions of dollars. We don’t collect legal fees until we recover compensation for your case. For a free consultation to discuss your case and damages for mental or emotional injury, call us at (407) 843-7060 or contact us here.

Disclaimer: All verdicts and settlements listed here are gross amounts before deductions for attorney fees and costs. Past results do not guarantee similar results in the future. Most cases result in a lower recovery. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result. Before choosing a lawyer, ask for written information about the lawyer's legal qualifications and experience.