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How Do Car Accident Injuries Emotionally Impact Victims?

Car accidents are traumatic events that often cause serious injuries to victims. There were nearly 129,000 crashes in Wisconsin in 2022, with 33,813 people injured and 595 killed. While most people think of physical harm, like broken bones or disfigurement, the emotional impact of the accident can be far worse, impacting the victim’s quality of life.

After a crash, people may feel sad, anxious, and alone, making it hard to keep up with relationships or daily tasks. This can happen because of physical injuries, like head trauma, or from constant worries or fears about the accident.

If you’re experiencing emotional distress post-collision, speak with a Appleton car accident attorney at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers. We can review your case and help you seek support and compensation for your mental well-being.

The Psychological Trauma of Car Accidents

The psychological impact of vehicle accidents on survivors can manifest in many ways and last for years after the event. For instance, up to 47% may experience anxiety or driving phobias after the incident. The most common mental health challenges for survivors may include:

  • Depression: Car accident survivors often experience depression after a crash, around 17%, based on one 2020 study. This can include feelings of persistent sadness, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, and a sense of hopelessness, which make it hard to engage with everyday life and recover fully.
  • Anxiety: Car accident survivors often deal with anxiety, marked by ongoing worry, hypervigilance in daily settings, and physical signs such as restlessness or an accelerated heartbeat. These symptoms can interfere with performing daily routines and maintaining a sense of normalcy.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Nearly 33% of traffic crash survivors experience PTSD. Symptoms may include vivid flashbacks, nightmares that replay the trauma, and severe emotional disturbances. It can cause victims to avoid places or situations that remind them of the accident, further isolating them from recovery.
  • Phobias Surrounding Driving or Riding in Vehicles: A common aftermath of vehicle accidents is the development of specific phobias, such as vehophobia (fear of driving) or amaxophobia (fear of riding in vehicles). These intense fears can affect a person’s ability to function normally, limiting mobility and independence. Survivors may avoid traveling by car altogether, impacting their daily lives and social interactions.

Emotional Impact After a Crash

The pain of your accident injuries can play a big part in the emotional distress you feel after the crash. Discomfort, stress, fear, and isolation can impact your life in the following ways:

  • Job Loss: Your injuries may make you unable to work, leading to several weeks or months of missed paychecks or even requiring a change in positions or careers. This loss of routine, identity, and financial security can increase stress and uncertainty about the future.
  • Difficulty Adapting to Disabilities: Adjusting to any new limitations or disabilities imposed by your injuries can be challenging. It might mean relearning basic tasks or finding new ways to perform daily activities, which can be a source of emotional distress and a feeling of alienation from your previous self.
  • Inability to Participate in Hobbies: Being unable to engage in hobbies and activities that once brought you joy can contribute to a sense of loss. This disruption in activities can diminish your sense of identity and lead to feelings of isolation and depression.
  • Reduced Confidence: The visible and invisible scars of an accident can shake your confidence, making social situations feel overwhelming and uncomfortable. This loss of self-assuredness can impact your ability to reconnect with the world around you and lead to withdrawal.
  • Altered Family Dynamics: Your physical and emotional changes post-accident can affect your relationships with a spouse or children. The shift in how you interact, your needs, and increased dependence can strain these close relationships as everyone struggles to adjust.

Can You Get Compensation for Emotional Losses?

Getting the financial support you need after an accident can help you recover physically and mentally. A 2023 study found that a strong support system and resources can improve mental health outcomes for victims.

Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers can help you seek compensation for all damages caused by a careless driver, including emotional distress. Our team can consult experts like clinical psychologists or psychiatrists to assess the extent of your psychological injuries and calculate fair compensation for your losses, including:

  • Therapy and counseling sessions
  • Psychiatric treatment costs
  • Medication for anxiety, depression, or PTSD
  • Compensation for lost wages due to emotional distress
  • Costs for psychological rehabilitation
  • Pain and suffering related to emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment in life activities

Get Fair Compensation for Emotional Damages After a Collision

If another driver causes an accident, you deserve compensation for all losses, including those you can’t see. Our Appleton car accident attorneys at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers understand the effect of these emotional injuries on your life. We can work towards getting you the highest recovery award possible for your suffering.

Contact us today for a free consultation where you can talk about your case and get our legal advice for your next steps.

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