The Emotional Impact of Car Accidents: Coping and Seeking Compensation
Navigating the emotional impacts of car accidents can be traumatic for all parties, but especially for victims. Aside from the physical and financial implications, there are mental and emotional ones that can last a lifetime, and reasonably so. If you’ve been in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, you should first seek medical attention and then file a personal injury claim with the help of a lawyer, but you should also address the emotional trauma you’ve suffered and focus on finding coping mechanisms that can help you manage any anxiety, PTSD, or phobias caused by the accident. Below we’ll explore a few of the ways you can manage the emotional impact of your accident while also seeking compensation.
The Shocking Aftermath & Emotional Impacts Of Car Accidents
Car accidents can unleash a wide variety of overwhelming emotions that might leave you feeling hopeless. When you were struck by another vehicle, it is likely that your first reaction was disbelief or fear of what was going on, especially if you are intentionally a careful driver. Unfortunately, those who are injured in an accident go on to experience psychological trauma as a side effect. This type of trauma can take on many forms including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health issues. In fact, studies show that 47% of motor vehicle collision survivors experience elevated anxiety and driving phobia, and 20%-40% suffer from PTSD.
It’s important that you are aware of the signs of these issues so that you can identify when one is taking a role in your life and address it accordingly. Some signs of psychological trauma include:
Signs of PTSD (Forbes, 2023):
- Intrusive memories – reliving the event or unwanted memories
- Avoidance – avoiding anything that reminds you of the incident (riding in or driving a car)
- Mood & thought changes – feeling negative about yourself or your relationship with others, losing interest in things you enjoyed
- Changes to physical or emotional reactions – easily frightened, trouble sleeping, engaging in self-destructive behaviors
- And more!
Signs of Anxiety (Mind, 2021):
- Feeling lightheaded
- Irregular heartbeat
- Changes in sex drive
- Panic attacks
- Grinding teeth
- And more!
If you’ve identified these signs as a cause for an emotional shift within yourself, finding ways to cope becomes paramount in restoring normalcy and reclaiming your life after an accident.
Coping Strategies For Car Accident Survivors
Recovering from the emotional impacts of a car accident requires delivery effort to manage any complicated feelings you’re experiencing. One of the first steps is accepting that it is normal that you’re having these feelings. It can be easy to question such drastic events and place blame on yourself, but you shouldn’t feel guilty when someone else caused the harm. After you’ve identified signs of anxiety, PTSD, or something else, it’s time to start implementing different coping strategies into your life to see what best helps you manage any trauma you’ve sustained.
A few coping mechanisms include:
- Prioritizing self-care – ensure that you aren’t neglecting any of your basic needs like getting the right amount of sleep or missing meals
- Keep yourself active – develop a routine that keeps you physically active as this can help reduce your stress
- Practice your breathing – breathing techniques are an immediate method of reducing feelings of anxiety
- Distract yourself – while this isn’t a long-term method of managing trauma, finding little ways to distract yourself from dwelling on your car accident is a temporary way to cope. You can do chores, go for a walk, listen to music, read a book, or something else.
There are also several types of medications that can be prescribed by a doctor for anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, but they should be considered as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan, not a standalone solution.
Balancing Emotional Healing And Legal Pursuits
Navigating the emotional impact of car accidents requires a delicate balance between your emotional well-being and handling the legal pursuits that are involved. While you should seek compensation for the physical and financial implications of the accident, healing emotionally is what is most important. Addressing your mental well-being is an important step in your journey to complete recovery. However, it’s understandable that seeking compensation is also a priority as well, especially if your injuries have put you out of work for a certain amount of time and you have medical bills beginning to pile up.
Working with an experienced car accident injury lawyer is a great way to find a balance. They can handle the claim process – filing, investigating, talking with witnesses, and gathering evidence – so that you can focus solely on healing physically and emotionally. They can even recommend a mental health professional that they can work collaboratively with if you want to pursue compensation for emotional damages.
How The Florida Law Group Can Help You
If you’re suffering from the emotional impact of your car accident, it’s important that you face your feelings so that you can find healthy ways to cope and maintain the highest quality of life. At The Florida Law Group we can help you do that by offering you the emotional support you need while we fight for the compensation that you deserve. We put justice at the forefront of all that we do and we believe you shouldn’t have to suffer mentally and financially from an accident you didn’t cause.
Our personal injury firm is one of the state’s oldest and most reputable personal injury firms. Our car accident injury attorneys have 100+ years of combined experience, so we are familiar with the state laws and what it takes to help our clients obtain the maximum amount in their settlement.
If you know you are 100% not at-fault for your accident, we will fight to ensure you’re compensated for what you’ve suffered. There is a statute of limitations on filing a personal injury claim, so don’t wait to get the help you need. Call The Florida Law Group today to schedule a free, confidential consultation and learn what your next steps are!