Common Emotional Responses to Car AccidentsUtah Legal News
Imagine that you are heading home after a long day at work. While driving in rush-hour traffic, a negligent driver tries to run a red light and hits your car. You sustain severe physical injuries, but, thankfully, they will heal.
In instances like this, you may deserve compensation for the pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and other damages you sustained. Aside from the legal aspect of handling your car accident, it is critical to note that the issues you face in the aftermath of a car accident go far beyond just the physical injuries you sustain.
Quite often, individuals who are injured in car accidents suffer from a wide range of emotional and psychological issues. At Siegfried & Jensen, we understand how overwhelming car accidents can be. Injured drivers are forced to deal with severe pain, financial loss, and stacking expenses, simply for being out on the road at the same time as a negligent driver.
Although it is impossible to predict how an injury victim will respond to a car accident, it is important to note the possible emotional and psychological issues they may deal with throughout recovery.
Quite often, car accident victims suffer from extreme fear after their accidents. They may have a very difficult time driving, or it may be nearly impossible to even step foot into a vehicle again without suffering an overwhelming anxiety attack.
This extreme reaction can be debilitating to victims, especially in a world built around motor-vehicle transportation. Not being able to drive can drastically limit where you can go and what you are capable of doing. Individuals who are fearful of being in vehicles may not be able to return to work because of the anxiety experienced simply trying to enter a car.
Accident Victim Depression
One of the most common, overwhelming reactions to a car accident is depression. This is especially true for victims involved in traumatic accidents, where others are killed or severely injured. Quite often, injury victims are unable to snap out of their depressive episode. They no longer see the world the same.
Not only does the accident itself often result in depression, but the injuries victims sustain can vastly contribute to their decline in mental health. Individuals who are forced to suffer may feel depressed and hopeless. Those who have to depend on family and friends to complete simple tasks may feel like they are a burden to others. They may even develop suicidal thoughts or ideation, believing that everyone would be better off if they had just died. These emotions can be overwhelming to deal with; unfortunately, there is no way to predict how long an accident victim will suffer.
Anxiety In Accident Victims
Those injured in car accidents are likely to suffer from severe anxiety. Fear of driving again, or re-entering a vehicle, can cause an anxiety attack in those who are still not ready. Although this can be avoided for some time, there are some causes of anxiety that victims are often forced to deal with daily.
Physical ailments like headaches, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, and other common accident injuries, have been linked to anxiety. The development of anxiety after a car accident could be related to your emotional response to the situation, or it could be deeply rooted in another health issue.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
In the worst-case scenarios, accident victims can develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition that encompasses all of the previously listed symptoms but also causes sufferers to experience sleep problems, flashbacks, and mood and personality changes.
PTSD is often associated with members of the military, but it is also very common for individuals involved in serious car accidents to suffer from. One study found that close to 33% of non-fatal accident victims had posttraumatic stress disorder after their accidents. Unfortunately, PTSD can be a long-term condition where individuals are forced to take medication, seek counseling, or undergo other mental health treatments to manage.
Compensation For Mental Health Conditions
These conditions can have a very serious impact on a victim’s quality of life. Not only are they physically limited from their injuries, but having emotional trauma, on top of the physical and financial problems, can be paralyzing. Individuals who suffer from these and other mental health conditions after their car accidents may be entitled to compensation.
Courts across Utah recognize the extent to which accident victims suffer mentally and emotionally. For this reason, judges often award compensation to victims for their pain and suffering. Although money does not eliminate the emotional turmoil, it can provide victims access to resources that can make the situation more bearable.
A Salt Lake Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, it is crucial for you to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Suffering physically and mentally after a car accident can drastically limit your ability to function in the same way you did before your accident.
Courts across the state recognize the drastic changes you are forced to make due to your accident, which is why they provide a legal route for injury victims to recover some form of compensation for their damages. At Siegfried & Jensen, we work diligently to help car accident victims recover a full and fair amount of compensation, in order to help alleviate some of the physical and financial burdens they face.
In addition to compensation for emotional distress, accident victims are entitled to recover compensation for damages like medical bills, lost wages, and even property loss. Accident victims are also entitled to compensation for loss of consortium when their emotional responses and physical injuries impact their relationships with their spouses and children.
Contact Siegfried & Jensen at (801) 598-1218 as soon as possible to see how we can help your case.