Any car accident that is more serious than a minor fender-bender is apt to result in injuries. Serious injuries. However, not all serious injuries are physical. In fact, it’s not unusual for a person who was involved in a car accident to experience acute emotional trauma associated with the event. The emotional trauma may be relieved in their mind in a nearly endless loop; causing them to continually re-experience the event and feel traumatized repeatedly. The emotional trauma that results can make it difficult to impossible for them to do anything that remotely reminds them of the car accident. It can result in them not being able to drive. This can impede their ability to commute to work, grocery shop, socialize, and much more. Thankfully, there is help available for those who suffer from emotional trauma due to a car accident, including speaking with a lawyer.
When a car accident lawyer prepares a claim for their client prior to submitting it to the at-fault insurance company, they perform an accounting of damages. In addition to the cost of medical treatment for broken bones and other physical injuries, the victim’s emotional injuries should also be included. Placing a dollar value on such non-physical injuries may seem odd, but the resulting compensation can be used to pay for counseling. Just as the individual may undergo physical therapy, it may be appropriate for them to also seek emotional or psychological therapy.
Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a common emotional injury among those who have been involved in serious car accidents. Though the individual may not have sustained any physical injuries, if they develop PTSD as a result of the event, this should not be taken lightly. Seeking the professional guidance of a licensed therapist should be considered a priority. If left untreated, the PTSD can remain indefinitely, and other conditions could develop. The stress associated with PTSD can lead to further emotional injuries, and can weaken the body’s immune system. That in turn can allow serious physical conditions to develop such as heart attacks, shortness of breath due to anxiety or panic attacks, dizziness, and much more.
Here are two scenarios in which it is not unusual for the car accident victim to develop PTSD:
- They were nearly killed or seriously injured, or did sustain a serious injury in the accident.
- They witnessed a loved one or another vehicle occupant sustain a fatal injury in the accident.
Counseling for PTSD
A licensed therapist who is experienced with treating patients with PTSD and other types of emotional trauma conditions can work with the individual to minimize or eliminate the PTSD. This can lead to a more fulfilling and joyous life again. If their productivity at work has suffered, or their interpersonal relationships have been damaged as a result of PTSD, counseling may help them to work through the trauma associated with the car accident. If this describes your circumstances, consider contacting a therapist to begin the healing process.