Dealing With Mental & Emotional Trauma After a Car Accident

Written By: The Champion Firm Team

Date Posted: 11.14.21

Category: Car Accident

The psychological injuries related to a car accident might linger for days, months, or years, especially when undiagnosed and untreated.

According to the National Institutes of Health, individuals involved in a car accident are at greater risk for psychological problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder. There is no doubt that a car accident’s emotional trauma is profoundly distressing for the driver, passengers, and even bystanders.

Here is some information about mental and emotional trauma following a car accident and assistance. We hope it helps.

Symptoms of Post-Accident Mental Trauma

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, most individuals involved in a car accident experience some level of emotional trauma.

The most common symptoms of post-accident mental injuries include:

  • Depression
  • Shock and disbelief
  • Anger
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Fear about driving or riding in a car
  • Guilt, even if someone else caused the crash

Usually, these unpleasant feelings, thoughts, and sensations fade. When they intensify or linger, there is a risk of developing more complex psychological issues.

PTSD in Car Accident Victims

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that affects physical behavior and mood. PTSD can be short-term, lasting a few months. It can also be a long-term, chronic mental health condition that lasts for several years.

Individuals who experience or exhibit these signs might have PTSD:

  • Extreme anxiety about driving or riding in a car (or refusing to)
  • Generalized anxiety
  • Insomnia, nightmares, or other sleep issues
  • Excessive worrying
  • Irritability or fits of anger
  • Intrusive thoughts about the accident
  • Changes in eating or weight
  • Drinking too much alcohol or taking drugs
  • Thoughts of self-harm

Physical pain or disability can increase your risk for PTSD. Individuals who suffer a traumatic brain injury are also more likely to experience long-term emotional trauma.

Treatment for Emotional Trauma After a Car Crash

You can treat mild or brief emotional trauma with an increased focus on basic needs. These include getting plenty of sleep, eating well, and staying physically active. When these measures aren’t enough, it might be time to get professional help.

Possible Treatment Options

Finding healthy ways to cope after a car accident is different for each person. The Mayo Clinic suggests psychotherapy as an effective method for adults and children with PTSD, including:

  • Cognitive Therapy – Talking to a licensed mental health professional to reduce negative beliefs or thought patterns.
  • Exposure Therapy – Safely immersing yourself in the environment causing distress, such as taking a ride.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – Combines exposure therapy with guided eye movements to help process unpleasant memories.
  • Antidepressants or Anti-Anxiety Medication – Adding mood-enhancing medicine to therapy can help reduce severe PTSD symptoms.

Compensation for Emotional Trauma

Not all your injuries after a car crash are physical. But they are all harmful and could be costly to treat. You deserve compensation to make you financially whole for all your physical and emotional injuries after a car accident that was not your fault.

Georgia allows victims of negligent injury to pursue several categories of damages, including economic, pain and suffering (also called non-economic damages), and punitive (in cases involving particularly egregious misconduct).

You can show proof of emotional damages in several ways, including:

  • Statement from your mental health provider
  • Diagnostic test results
  • Prescriptions
  • Testimony from subject experts

Emotional injuries are often a significant factor in assessing damages for insurance claims or a personal injury lawsuit.

Resources for Emotional Trauma in Marietta

If you or a loved one suffers from emotional trauma after a car accident, help is available. Talk to your family doctor about referrals to a licensed mental health provider.

The resources below are free or provided on a sliding scale for uninsured or underinsured individuals.

Cobb Behavioral Health Crisis Center – Counseling for depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues

Good Samaritan Health Center of Cobb Behavioral Health – Faith-based counseling for depression, stress, and grief

Open Path Collective – Not-for-profit organization with affordable in-person or online psychotherapy

Get Help from a Marietta Car Accident Lawyer

As car accident lawyers, we want to help you recover maximum compensation for your emotional and physical injuries. The Champion Firm has obtained over $100 Million in settlements for our clients as a Marietta law firm, as well as all throughout Georgia.

Our attorneys take care of everything related to your injury claim so that you can focus on your physical and emotional well-being.

Call The Champion Firm at 404-596-8044 or reach out online to get your free, no-risk consultation.

About the Author

The Champion Firm is a full-service personal injury law firm serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. Our award-winning team of attorneys specializes in car accidents, wrongful death, premises liability, and slip-and-fall cases. Learn more about our team here.