Jason Stephens | January 14, 2022 | Car Accidents
Your car accident can trigger emotional and mental symptoms in addition to physical pain. And just as you can seek compensation for physical injuries, you can also seek compensation for mental and emotional injuries.
Just keep in mind that you will need evidence to support a claim for mental or emotional injuries.
How Emotional and Mental Injuries Happen
Emotional and mental injuries can arise from many causes, including:
- Depression over getting injured
- Guilt about the accident
- Anxiety about your health and finances
- Fear of getting into another car accident
But emotional and mental injuries can also have a physical cause. The brain has a system hardwired into it to protect you from danger. This system triggers your fight, flight, or freeze response.
When you perceive danger, your body undergoes physical changes, including:
- Increased blood pressure
- Decreased digestion
- Increased heart rate
- Increased respiration rate
- Enhanced levels of adrenaline and other hormones
These physical changes prime your body to react to danger. By making these changes, your brain prepares your body to fight off or run away from the threat.
Your brain reacts to the trauma of a car accident by increasing its sensitivity to triggers. In some cases, your mind believes that since it failed to protect you from your car accident, it needs to turn up its response to future threats.
This change in brain chemistry manifests with changes in your physical, mental, and emotional states. These symptoms often lead to a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD After a Car Accident
You might think of your symptoms after a car accident as having separate causes. But often, PTSD can explain many of these concerns. Some common mental and emotional symptoms include:
- Emotional outbursts
- Irritability and anger
- Anxiety or fear
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
In addition to these mental or emotional symptoms, PTSD can also cause physical symptoms, such as:
- Unexplained pain
- Digestive problems
- Depressed immune system
As a result, you might suffer from emotional and mental issues after a car accident without realizing it. Instead, you might just feel tired or have stomach pain. In reality, these physical symptoms could relate to PTSD.
Treatment for Emotional and Mental Issues After a Car Accident
Treatment for emotional and mental issues usually includes therapy and may include medication.
Therapy can have several goals, including:
- Processing the traumatic event
- Recognizing thinking errors that trigger overreactions and outbursts
- Learning to identify and cope with your symptoms
Antianxiety and antidepressant medications often help to relieve the symptoms of PTSD. But therapy can help you to end or minimize your need for medication to relieve your symptoms.
Getting Injury Compensation for Emotional and Mental Issues
The law makes no distinction between physical injuries and emotional or mental injuries. You can seek compensation for emotional or mental injuries through insurance claims and lawsuits.
If your accident resulted from another person’s negligence, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance to seek injury compensation. You will document your injuries with your medical records.
The claims adjuster will make a settlement offer based on the documented injuries. If your medical records include a diagnosis of PTSD, you can pursue compensation for it.
To ensure you have support for your injury claim:
- Talk to your doctor about your emotional and mental issues
- Get a referral to a mental health professional
- Keep records of your therapy and counseling bills
- Maintain copies of any prescriptions for your emotional or mental issues
By treating your mental and emotional injuries the same as your physical injuries, you can seek compensation for the harm caused by another party.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth car accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107