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How to Deal with Trauma After a Car Accident

A car crash is a traumatic experience. The primary focus of accident victims is often medical treatment. However, many people prioritize recovering from physical injuries and don’t address the emotional effects of the incident.

Ignoring psychological trauma caused by a car accident can be detrimental to your overall recovery and the outcome of your case. You must spend time treating your emotional pain and suffering. You may benefit from appointments with a therapist to diagnose anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or another mental illness and determine the appropriate treatment.

Here you will learn about the emotional trauma of car wrecks, the signs you should look for, and how to prove this type of injury in a claim.

Understanding Psychological Injuries from Car Accidents

Physical injuries aren’t the only injuries a person can sustain in a car crash. Psychological and emotional trauma is common. It can be debilitating and interfere with various aspects of daily life.

Recognizing the symptoms might be challenging, especially when focused more on treating physical injuries and their symptoms. However, recognizing psychological injuries and learning how to cope is essential.

Trauma often results from incidents like car wrecks, natural disasters, and violent attacks. Sudden and unexpected events are particularly traumatic. Mental or emotional consequences can result from various stressors during the incident, such as:

  • Feeling responsible for what happened
  • Experiencing a threat to life
  • Encountering someone’s death
  • Loss
  • Hopelessness or helplessness
  • Feeling trapped and unable to escape the terrifying moment


The feelings associated with trauma after a car accident often include:

  • Shock
  • Grief
  • Denial
  • Fear
  • Sadness


how to deal with trauma after a car accidentThese feelings can manifest as physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomaches. Accident victims can experience fatigue, moodiness, flashbacks, and stress. The duration of these symptoms varies from one person to the next. It depends on their personal experience and whether they seek help.

Untreated psychological injuries can worsen over time. They might lead to ongoing issues with drugs or alcohol, depressive episodes, or phobias. Some people can no longer drive, work, or leave their homes. The adverse effects can also extend to personal and intimate relationships.

How to Document Emotional Trauma

You can seek compensation for your psychological injuries like you would for physical injuries. You can file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the liable driver. However, you must have substantial evidence to prove the trauma.

Medical documentation is valuable evidence. You should consider asking your doctor to write a statement about your diagnosis, symptoms, and the effects on your daily routine and overall quality of life. Maintaining ongoing treatment records is also beneficial. Those records can show a treatment timeline and indicate whether your condition improves or worsens.

Keeping a trauma journal can also help with your personal injury case. Create a journal outlining daily symptoms if you haven’t already started one. Describe how you feel and the physical manifestation of your psychological injuries. You should include instances of your trauma getting in the way of your life. For example, mention whether you have trouble doing your job or caring for your family.

Pursuing Action After a Car Accident

You should hire an experienced car accident lawyer to represent you in your case. Psychological injuries are compensable. Pursuing legal action involves more than holding someone liable for your physical injuries. The negligent driver should also pay for the emotional harm they caused.

Building a successful case against another party requires showing the mental impact of the crash on your life by submitting your journal, medical records, and other documentation as evidence during the claim or lawsuit. Your personal injury lawyer can investigate and obtain evidence for you so you can focus on getting the treatment you need.

Every case is unique, but evidence of trauma often includes:

  • Expert testimony from psychologists and psychiatrists
  • Physician notes from therapy sessions
  • Documentation of an official diagnosis, such as PTSD, depression, or anxiety
  • Copy of the patient’s trauma journal
  • Statements from family, friends, and coworkers regarding the victim’s behavior and mood after the accident


Contact a Trusted Car Accident Attorney in South Carolina

The Yates Firm understands the emotional toll a car crash can take. You can encounter multiple challenges while treating your physical injuries and getting the help you need. Our legal team is ready to fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.

If you experienced emotional trauma after a car wreck someone else caused, call The Yates Firm at 843.692.3237 for a free consultation today.

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