How Should I Handle Mental Trauma After a Car Accident?

Mental Trauma Car Accident

A car accident can cause minor or severe bodily injuries, and victims are often focused on treating their physical ailments that they overlook the emotional trauma. According to a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) study, close to 40 percent of motor vehicle accident survivors develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a serious mental impairment that can cause anxiety, depression, and the inability to cope with a job and other daily life events.

PTSD is not the only mental trauma from a car accident, there are many other conditions that every car crash victim should look for, no matter the severity of the accident. There are many ways a car accident victim can cope with their trauma. Loved ones can help the victim understand their feelings and seek help after a traumatic accident.

When the accident victim’s emotional state is severe or progressively worsens, a counselor, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or mental health specialist, can help them cope. A person’s primary doctor can refer them to the appropriate resources. If a licensed counselor is not needed, some victims may find relief through the following activities:

  • Talk to friends and relatives. Sometimes, sharing feelings about the accident can help the victim process the details and the consequences.
  • Exercise. If it is possible, stay active after the accident. Even walking can relieve stress and anxiety.
  • Get back to routines. Daily activities and routines can help victims adjust. Even though fear may make it difficult to drive or do other tasks, it is essential for victims to face these challenges.
  • Nourish the body. Following a healthy diet can help nourish the body and the mind.
  • Do pleasurable activities. If a good book, a great movie, or a fun hobby bring joys and relaxation, do them. Try to participate in activities that relieve anxiety.
  • Take driving classes either online or in person. If an accident victim finds it exceptionally difficult to get back in the car, reviews of defensive and safe driving along with practice may be helpful.
  • Control anxiety. There are various meditation, mindful breathing, and muscle relaxation techniques that can help control anxious feelings.

What are Signs of Mental Trauma?

An accident victim should not be afraid of discussing their mental issues with others, especially loved ones. Mental injuries are just as devastating as physical ones. A survivor of a car accident will typically experience a variety of emotions and feelings. An accident survivor may exhibit some of the following emotional states:

  • Shock is common, and it may cause a victim not to remember details of the accident.
  • Ongoing feelings of general uneasiness, anxiety, and fear.
  • Refusal to drive or ride in a car.
  • Avoiding medical tests or procedures out of fear.
  • Excessive worry, anger, or irritability, such as panic attacks.
  • Feeling disassociated from life, work, people, and events.
  • Nightmares and sleep problems.
  • Obsessive and uncontrollable thoughts and memories of the accident.
  • Guilt, especially if someone else was seriously harmed or killed.

What are Symptoms of PTSD?

It is important to know the symptoms of PTSD because many car accident victims experience this condition. Common signs of PTSD include:

  • Emotional avoidance. Some victims push away thoughts and feelings to protect themselves.
  • Changes in emotional reactions. A victim may exhibit either less or more intense responses to daily events, including anger or feeling overwhelmed.
  • Changes in mood. A victim may display more negative thinking and find it difficult to be happy. Mood swings may also become more frequent.
  • Increased use of or reliance on alcohol or drugs.
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
  • Withdrawal from social events, friends, work, and family life.

Why Should I Contact a Car Accident Lawyer if I Have Mental Trauma?

In New Jersey, a person who is injured because of another person’s negligence has the legal right to seek compensation. However, they will need a car accident lawyer who has experience handling these cases. A car accident lawyer can help file a personal injury claim for the victim that includes pain and suffering. New Jersey courts generally consider the following.

  • Physical pain and suffering: Bodily injuries sustained directly from the accident and effects and consequences of the injuries.
  • Mental pain and suffering: Negative emotions and events that are caused by the accident.
  • Disability/impairment: Inability to work or perform activities of daily living.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: Detrimental alterations of a person’s life.

Damages for pain and suffering in New Jersey are determined by the court and not suggested by a lawyer. The court will consider various issues surrounding the extent and impact of the accident on the victim’s physical and emotional state and the long-term consequences of their mental and physical injuries.

Mount Laurel Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Advocate for Good Mental Health After a Collision

No one should endure crippling mental health disturbances because of someone else’s negligence. A car accident victim is entitled to pursue compensation for their emotional trauma as well as their physical injuries. The dedicated Mount Laurel car accident lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman believe that everyone needs a legal advocate after a catastrophic accident. We are ready to talk with you today about your accident and its consequences. Call us today at 856-751-2345 or contact us online for a free consultation and for more information. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.