Individuals involved in car accidents frequently suffer physical injuries. However, not as much focus is placed on the emotional and mental issues that often arise after a collision. 

Unfortunately, the psychological impact of a car crash can last much longer than physical injuries do. Emotional distress after a crash can impact your ability to enjoy hobbies, interact with loved ones, and even go to work. 

After an accident, it’s common for people who are physically injured to focus on medical treatment. You might seek the advice of medical professionals and obtain testing, medication, and other kinds of care. You might even pursue damages through a personal injury lawyer, who can help you recover the cost of medical expenses. 

While these things are vital, it’s also important to think about the long-term emotional impact of the accident.

Emotional Distress After a Car Accident

There are a few key symptoms to watch for if you are concerned about your psychological health following a car accident. 

Emotional distress can lead to many symptoms, such as:

  • Feelings of anguish
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Bouts of anger
  • Fearfulness
  • Crying
  • Sleep issues or nightmares
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of interest in normal activities

A car accident can be devastating. If you are experiencing emotional distress on top of physical injuries, recovery may take even longer.

After an accident, you may have a fear of driving or riding as a passenger in another vehicle. This can result in an unwillingness to attend important medical appointments or even go to work. 

It’s important to talk to a psychologist or another mental health practitioner if you are experiencing any emotional distress after a car accident.

Common Mental Health Conditions After Car Accidents

Trauma after a car accident can lead to serious issues for a victim. In particular, some victims develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While this condition is often associated with military members returning from combat, it can occur after any traumatizing event. 

Car accidents, especially very serious ones, can trigger PTSD. Those who develop PTSD may also develop an intense fear of driving.

PTSD symptoms can have substantial effects on a person’s life. Symptoms can include:

  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Nightmares
  • Active avoidance of triggers
  • Memory loss
  • Negative thoughts about self and the world
  • Self-isolation or feeling distant
  • Anger and irritability
  • Reduced interest in activities
  • Hypervigilance
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Vivid flashbacks
  • Casting blame
  • Difficulty feeling positive emotions
  • Exaggerated startle response
  • Risky behaviors

To cope with PTSD, an accident victim might require therapy for an extended period of time. They may also require medications to help them return to daily activities. 

The costs of therapy and medications may be just as expensive as treatment of physical injuries.

Long-Term Psychological Effects of Traumatic Car Accidents

Psychological distress after a car accident can cause long-term phobias related to the event. 

For example, victims may avoid driving completely or may not want to pass the accident scene. People who suffer from these phobias can have trouble getting to work or doing any sort of errands that involve transport. 

To start your recovery from PTSD or anxiety related to a severe car accident, it’s important to speak with a therapist or psychologist. They can assess your symptoms and set up an appropriate treatment plan. 

However, do not discount the financial injuries that your emotional distress has caused. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. A personal injury lawyer can evaluate your claim and determine whether you have a right to non-economic damages for your emotional distress. Contact a lawyer today to learn more about your options. 

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in New York City

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Manhattan, NY, and need legal help, contact our New York City car accident lawyers at Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. to schedule a free consultation.

Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C.
100 Wall St 15th Floor
New York, NY 10005
(212) 514-5007