An accident can happen in mere seconds. In that short time, individuals can be left with devastating and catastrophic injuries.
The injuries sustained from a serious car accident can keep individuals out of work and prevent them from enjoying the activities they love. This can be incredibly frustrating, which only adds to the emotional impact that a car crash can have.
There are two reasons individuals should not overlook the emotional effects of a car crash:
- In Maryland, individuals injured in a car accident caused by another’s negligence can often recover financial compensation for the non-economic damages they suffer, such as significant emotional distress (Maryland Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings §11-108).
- More importantly, overlooking the emotional effects can have a negative impact on an individual’s mental health.
Individuals must be aware of the emotions they might experience after a car accident, so they can be sure to take care of their mental health.
What are the most common emotions individuals might experience after a crash?
Some of the most common effects that injured individuals experience after an accident include:
- Shock: Shock is incredibly common after a car accident. Individuals might be confused, distressed and irritable after the crash. It might take time for the accident to even feel real to them. This can last for even a few days or weeks after the accident.
- Anger: After a while, injured individuals might be angry at the negligent driver who caused their injuries and put them in this situation. However, this anger might also manifest at small inconveniences or even at other loved ones.
- Guilt: Many individuals might begin to think about what they could have done differently to avoid the crash – even if they were not at fault. Injured drivers might also feel guilty if other passengers got hurt in their vehicle at the time of the accident.
- Anxiety: Symptoms of anxiety and depression are common after a crash. Individuals might worry excessively and feel constantly nervous about their well-being or the well-being of their loved ones. Anxiety can often manifest long after the accident, especially at the prospect of getting behind the wheel or into a car again.
Car accidents can be traumatic
The suddenness and violence of a car crash can cause severe emotional responses. Some people even develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after catastrophic accidents that put their life at risk.
That is why individuals must pay attention to their emotional reaction after the accident, so they can focus on their holistic recovery.
These emotional reactions are normal, but they will be different for everyone. Remember that it may take time for individuals to work through these stressful emotions.
However, if individuals experience such emotions for a prolonged period of time, it is also important to consult a mental health professional. Proper mental health can both improve an individual’s condition, as well as validate and document the psychological injuries.