Mental Suffering From Vehicle Accidents

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

A motor vehicle accident affects not just the victim’s body, but their mental health as well. That is why action needs to be taken as early as possible to attend to the injuries and provide counsel and therapy to the victim. Emergency treatment is necessary to improve the victim’s chances of survival and recovery. While physical injuries should be attended to, equal attention needs to be given to the victim’s mental well-being. The emotional and psychological effects of injuries which result from a motor vehicle accident can be caused by many factors. Pain from serious injuries can cause chronic bouts of physical suffering that need to be relieved using painkillers. Regular use of such medication can have negative side effects on the victim, from addiction to the drug to suffering from depression.

If the accident results in some form of disability for the victim, the life of the victim changes drastically. With the full range of the victim’s daily activities curtailed, this naturally has a negative effect on their mental well-being. Learning to cope with their new life can be a difficult task that needs all the professional medical assistance available. If the accident results in some form of disfigurement or scarring, that can have a highly negative effect on the victim’s self-esteem. Depression and anxiety is a natural result, and the victim may become too afraid to even step out of the house for fear of what passersby will say. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is usually associated with army veterans, but this medical condition can also result from other kinds of traumatic events, such as a serious road accident.

A motor vehicle accident can be sudden and violent, resulting in the car rolling over, being trapped inside the vehicle and a chain reaction of painful experiences. Researchers have estimated that more than 9% of car accidents result in PTSD. A person suffering from the condition after an accident will exhibit many signs of mental and emotional distress. This includes having violent nightmares that cause disruption to the sleep pattern. Having flashbacks to the time of the accident and constantly reliving the painful memories.

Having periods of blackout during which the victim does not remember his or her actions. Suffering from anxiety or depression due to the memories of the collision. Trying to avoid activities or areas that remind victims of the accident. Feeling alienated from friends and family. Not taking an interest in life and giving up their usual hobbies and interest. Another sign of PTSD is often that the victim starts feeling responsible for the accident, which adds to the mental suffering. 

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