With millions of travelers and commuters on the road each day, it is no surprise that car accidents are a common occurrence. According to the U.S. Census Bureau Motor Vehicle Accident report, 10.8 million car accidents occurred during 2009, with over 33,000 resulting in a fatality. There are a greater number of distractions that tempt individuals behind the wheel, and concerns are a constant as it relates to impaired drivers on the road. While short or long-term personal injury from a car accident is often inevitable, victims of car accidents are also susceptible to emotional distress that can cause long-lasting suffering well after the physical injuries heal.
Car Accident Victims and Emotional Distress
No two accidents are the same, and each individual involved can experience different effects over different lengths of time after an accident takes place. While some individuals incur serious injuries and long-lasting medical issues, others may have little to no visible signs of damage to their bodies. However, emotional distress is a common unseen, long-term effect of a severe car accident. Individuals can experience emotional distress in a number of ways, the most prevalent including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Long-term phobia of driving
Each of these conditions can last for days, weeks or even months after a car accident, and each can present in a different form. For instance, symptoms of depression or PTSD can include sudden or lingering feelings of irritability or agitation, sadness or hopelessness, social withdrawal, and mild to severe mood swings.
Risks and Treatments
While not everyone experiences lasting emotional trauma after a car accident, there are certain individuals who may be more susceptible to depression, PTSD, or other mental health issues. According to recent research compiled by the Veteran’s Administration, characteristics such as a poor ability to cope with traumatic events or the presence of a mental illness prior to an accident can lead to emotional distress after a car accident has occurred. Similarly, a larger extent of physical injury resulting from a car accident can be a direct cause of long-lasting emotional stress such as PTSD or depression after the fact.
In addition to healing from the physical wounds incurred from a car accident, treatment is often necessary for emotional health as well. Individuals who experience symptoms of emotional distress for longer than three weeks after an accident should make it a priority to seek quality treatment from a medical professional whom they trust. Emotional wellness treatment may come in the form of behavior or cognitive therapy, prescription medications or a combination of treatment methods, and it can last from a two or three months up to years after the accident.
Experienced Georgia Personal Injury Lawyers | Van Sant Law, LLC
At Van Sant Law, our attorneys understand the emotional impact of car accidents caused by another driver. We work diligently on behalf of our clients to ensure they receive the greatest amount of compensation for not only physical injuries, but emotional pain and suffering as well. Our experienced team of attorneys is committed to thorough investigation and full pursuit of clients’ accident claims from beginning to end so those injured are able to return to the life they knew prior to the accident as soon as possible. If you have been the victim of a car accident and have suffered emotional or mental damage because of it, contact us today for a free consultation.