What Are the Psychological Effects of Being in a Car Accident?

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Most car accidents do not cause physical injuries alone. They can also affect a victim psychologically, mentally and emotionally. The psychological effects of being in a car accident can remain long after physical injuries have healed. In Nebraska, the civil courts give crash survivors the right to pursue compensation for their nonphysical as well as physical injuries. You may be eligible for an emotional injury award as a car accident victim in Omaha.

 psychological effects of being in an auto accident

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most common psychological effects of being in an auto accident. PTSD is a mental health condition that can arise after someone experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, such as a car accident, physical assault or dog attack. PTSD can last a few days up to several weeks or months. In some recorded cases, especially in children, PTSD from a car accident has lasted longer than a year after the collision. You might have post-traumatic stress disorder from a car accident if you notice related symptoms.

  • Flashbacks
  • Severe or ongoing anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Sleep problems
  • A feeling of detachment
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Mood swings
  • Stress
  • Depression

PTSD can impact your ability to function and continue with normal life. Phobias or anxiety about getting into a vehicle could prevent you from going to work, for example. PTSD may require treatment from a mental health professional. Although many symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are normal for a car accident survivor to experience in the aftermath of a serious crash, if the symptoms persist over time and/or become debilitating, it could lead to a diagnosis of PTSD and require professional care.

Permanent Injuries and Lost Quality of Life

Aside from anxiety, stress and phobias connected to a traumatic car accident, a survivor could also suffer negative psychological effects due to a catastrophic or permanent injury. An injury that scars, disfigures or maims a crash survivor could present a source of anxiety, embarrassment, low self-esteem, shame and/or depression.

An injury that interferes with the victim’s ability to move and do the things he or she loves could also have a significant psychological effect. The victim may experience grief or anger over lost quality of life or diminished enjoyment of life. These are feelings that may dissipate over time, with or without professional treatment, or that the survivor may combat for life.

Pursuing Compensation for Emotional Injuries in Nebraska

Many factors can determine whether a victim of a car accident will experience adverse psychological effects from the crash. These can include the circumstances of the accident, the severity of the wreck, the type and degree of the injury, and whether a loved one died. If you notice emotional distress, mental anguish, lost quality of life or loss of consortium after being in a motor vehicle accident, ask an attorney whether these emotional injuries make you eligible for financial compensation.

If a negligent driver or another party caused your car accident in Omaha, that person may owe you money for your damages. The law might entitle you to a payment to cover your economic and noneconomic damages. This can include any psychological effects you were or still are experiencing from a car accident. The at-fault party could be liable for these damages as well as the economic costs of the collision for you and your family.

Proving psychological damages may take an official psychological evaluation and/or the diagnosis of a condition such as post-traumatic stress disorder, an anxiety disorder or depression. It may also require testimony from a mental health expert during your car accident case. Keep copies of all mental health records and bills in the aftermath of an auto accident. Then, pursue compensation for your noneconomic losses with help from an auto accident lawyer in Omaha.