According to data from UC Berkeley’s Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), California experienced a significant increase in traffic-related injuries in 2021. An injury related to a motor vehicle accident may leave you wondering what trauma effects can arise.
A car accident victim may suffer temporary or permanent injuries, depending on the extent of the accident and its impact. These are in addition to legal and economic ramifications, along with navigating insurance claims.
Victims must be conscious of the extensive trauma, mental pain, and adverse effects that car accidents often produce.
Trauma following an accident; what and why?
Trauma is a physical and psychological reaction to an accident’s stress and unrest. It is not uncommon for victims to feel powerless, helpless, in pain, shocked, and even left with fear and doubts about their self-worth. The fear of getting behind the wheel can result from an injury from a collision. Others may become anxious about traveling in vehicles in general. Despite these common reactions, they can make daily life and activities more challenging.
Six Car accidents trauma-related conditions
Trauma effects after a car accident are difficult to predict, although they are more likely to develop among car accident victims. Among the predominant conditions linked to car accident injuries and trauma are:
- Acute stress disorder (ASD)
- Stress response syndrome
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Psychological distress
- Emotional trauma
Acute Stress Disorder: Develops in the days and weeks following an event characterized by an intense and painful reaction to trauma. Some individuals may feel detached or numb in an emotional sense, while others may exhibit unpredictable behavior.
Stress Response Syndrome: When an individual has difficulty coping with or adapting to a particular source of stress, such as a significant change in life, accident, loss, or event. The syndrome is often referred to as “adjustment disorder,” as patients often face hurdles attempting to adjust to life after a traumatic event.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: PTSD is a psychiatric disorder triggered by scary, startling, or life-threatening events. As reported by the American Psychological Association, car accidents are a leading cause of PTSD in Americans. PTSD is denoted by persistent flashbacks or reliving memories of the event that precipitated the trauma and disorder.
Traumatic Brain Injury: 1.5 million traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur in the U.S. annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and occur when a strong external force damages the brain. These injuries range from mild to severe. However, they account for the majority of disabilities and deaths in adults. Signs of a TBI can manifest immediately or develop over time.
Psychological Distress: Moods can fluctuate wildly and cause painful physical and mental symptoms. Psychological distress can signal the beginning of major depressive episodes, panic disorders, and anxiety. In addition, the trauma can result in impairment of cognitive functions. An extremely stressful or traumatic experience can cause psychological distress.
Emotional Distress: While emotional distress can take many forms, its generally characterized by mental anguish, feelings of hopelessness, self-isolation, and depression. Emotional distress is usually a response to a particular crisis or event.
Many forms of trauma, unfortunately, go unnoticed, undiagnosed, and untreated. Getting appropriate care is imperative. The following are symptoms of trauma to be aware of:
- Panic attacks
- Flashbacks or night terrors
- Development of new fears
- Self-isolating behavior
- Emotional detachment or “numbness.”
- Mood swings (frequent ups and downs)
- Insomnia or new and poor sleep patterns
- Problems focusing or learning
- Depression or low moods
- Loss of interest
- Loss of motivation
- Feeling foggy
- Loss of appetite or change in diet
- Reduced libido
- Aggressive or unpredictable behavior
- Feelings of hopelessness
Can compensation after an accident include trauma?
Compensation may be available depending on the specifics of your claim. Consult an attorney specializing in this field to ensure you receive fair compensation. Compensation can assist with medical bills, prescription expenses, treatment costs, therapy, and more challenging to measure losses like pain and suffering. The trauma of a car accident can be grave and debilitating, but an attorney who is supportive and experienced can make all the difference.