Car accidents can cause significant physical injuries. When your whole life changes from a routine activity like driving, you can suffer in other areas too. Mental health trauma can be just as devastating as physical injuries.
There’s no way to tell how every individual will react to a car accident. The North American Mental Health Professional Advice Council (NAMHPAC) estimates that up to 60% of people can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following an accident.
Broken bones and other physical injuries are easily identified immediately following a collision. You go to the doctor, receive treatment, and start to recover. Emotional trauma isn’t so straightforward. Even if your accident was minor, you might notice changes in behavior, including:
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities.
- Mindset changes.
- Anxiety or generalized fear.
- Being stuck on reliving the accident.
What’s more, the severity of these responses can increase the longer they remain untreated. Still, it’s hard to tell whether someone will develop emotional trauma after an accident.
Emotional trauma can happen from even seemingly minor accidents. The critical factor is the perceived threat against life or loss. Suppose the unexpected happened quickly or came out of nowhere. In that case, that could increase the chances that long-term mental health is impacted.
Following an accident, you may want to see a mental health professional to help you process what happened. Some insurance companies may provide the service, or you might need to pursue other legal actions to get this benefit. In that case, familiarizing yourself with the laws regarding personal injury can help protect your legal rights and recoup any losses.