After being in an accident that causes you injuries and damages, you might think that your physical recovery is all that matters. However, collisions can take a huge toll on your mental health as well. You could have trouble sleeping, be nervous to get back in a car, or suffer from other symptoms that show you’re mentally affected by the crash.
Even if the collision was minor, you could still be greatly affected mentally and emotionally from the experience, which makes it incredibly important to know how to recover.
Let’s take a look at how you can work towards mental and emotional recover after a car accident.
What Effects Could an Auto Wreck Have on Your Mental Health?
Mental injuries can be just as bad as the physical injuries you suffer from a car accident. In fact, according to an article published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, auto accidents are the leading cause of PTSD in the general population. PTSD is a disorder that stems from experiencing or witnessing a deeply traumatizing event.
You might not consider this immediately after your car crash, but it’s likely that you’ll suffer some form of mental or emotional trauma when a collision happens. You expect to be safe when you’re on the road, and an accident disrupts that expectation. That alone can leave you unsettled, without taking into consideration other forms of mental trauma you may experience from the crash itself and any injuries.
Here are some of the most common forms of mental and emotional turmoil that a car accident victim may endure in the time after a collision:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Replaying and reliving what happened
According to that same article from above, survivors of car accidents reported that the crash they were involved in caused PTSD over 30 percent of the time, depression over 17 percent of the time, and anxiety nearly 6 percent of the time. It’s important to keep in mind that these are just the reported numbers, so the real percentages could be much higher.
Now that you understand how your mental health could be affected by an auto wreck, let’s take a look at what you can do to mentally recover.
What Can You Do to Improve Your Mental and Emotional Health?
Recovery after a car accident extends to your mental and emotional health just as much as it has to do with your physical health. Your external and physical injuries deserve attention, but don’t forget to evaluate where your mental health stands after a traumatic event like a car crash.
It’s normal to have complicated feelings after an event like a car crash. That’s why you need to know how to mentally recover and cope after an accident. The Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) has some tips for overcoming your distress.
Here are some of the most productive and positive ways you can work on your mental and emotional health after suffering through an auto wreck:
- Seek help from a professional
- Keep appointments with your therapist or psychiatrist
- Be honest with them so you’re getting the full scope of help
- Find positive ways to cope, like physical activity if you’re able to
- Practice breathing techniques to help calm yourself and manage anxiety
- Research and learn about what you experience to feel more normal
- Take the time you need to heal
- Work on returning to a routine or finding a new routine
- Continue to take care of yourself and focus on your needs
- Remember to eat and stay hydrated
- Get plenty of sleep
- Do things that make you happy or relaxed
- Drive defensively to lessen the chances of another accident
What’s important about all of these steps is that they deal with your emotional and mental anguish in a positive way. They focus on recovery and healing rather than pushing feelings away. The longer you push these feelings away and deny them, the longer it will take you to recover—if ever.
Above all, seeking professional help is the most important step to take. They’ll be able to guide you through your recovery and provide you with the coping mechanisms, and possibly medications, you need to heal. This is also important because this forms a medical record showing you suffered mental and emotional injuries that can be used later if you decide to file a car accident claim.
How Does this Tie into Car Accident Compensation?
If you decide that you’re going to take legal action after your car crash, you might be wondering what you can recover in financial compensation. You probably know that your physical injuries and the costs associated with them are included in the damages you can recover after a crash, but did you know that your emotional injuries can also be included?
When you’ve gotten professional help and they recorded in your report that you suffered from emotional or mental damages from the accident, then those damages can be included in your car accident settlement. Your bills from visits, medication costs, and any other costs associated with the care you’ve received for your mental health may be able to be included in those economic damages you can recover.
Additionally, the emotional turmoil you experienced after the crash factor into how much you may be able to recover in noneconomic damages, which are the more abstract costs you suffered from a car accident.
This is why having a car accident lawyer is crucial. They’ll be able to calculate how much you’re owed in compensation based on your evidence and what you suffered. They’ll know how to collect documentation and use evaluations and records to prove you had mental and emotional trauma from the auto wreck and that you deserve compensation as a result.
Golden Law Office Is Here for You in Your Time of Need
Maintaining your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and the mental damages you take from a car accident can be just as devastating as the physical injuries you sustain. With the help of a lawyer from Golden Law Office, you can recover the damages you deserve from the mental and emotional injuries you suffered in your wreck.
Our lawyers know that one step in your mental recovery could be taking legal action against the party whose negligence caused your injuries. Reach out to our office today so we can get started working on your claim so you can have justice and peace of mind.