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It is estimated that over five million car accidents are reported every year, one million result in serious injury and many more result in fatality. Besides physical injuries, victims can sustain long-term negative psychological effects. In most cases, victims do not file claims for the serious non-physical conditions resulting from traumatic car crash experiences despite the legality of doing so. Personal injury laws allow victims to claim damages for psychological pain and suffering. Make sure you understand the different types of emotional pain that can result from experiencing an accident so they can seek compensation for treatment.


While it is normal to experience anxiety every once in awhile, developing an anxiety disorder is a serious problem that can deprive you of a healthy and happy life. After an accident, you may feel uncomfortable operating or riding in a car which can lead to a fear of automotive transport. Anxiety can also cause panic attacks and other severe physical symptoms. There are signs and symptoms to watch out for:

  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Feeling weak
  • Fear of impending danger
  • Hyperventilating
  • General sadness
  • Chest pain
  • Tension or nervousness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Increased heart beat


Depression can develop after traumatic events including car accidents or witnessing friends or family getting injured in an accident. Often minors are more prone to emotional pain and suffering because their minds haven’t fully developed and they may not understand how to deal with the trauma. Different signs of emotional distress include:

  • Emotional numbness
  • Overwhelming feelings of sadness
  • Shifting between emotions like guilt, denial, disbelief and anger
  • Social withdrawal
  • Changes in appetite
  • Recurring memories and flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Increased use of toxic substances
  • Short concentration spans

Following up with your doctor regularly for physical check ups are just as important as attending psychological evaluations after an accident. Keeping a journal of any psychological changes is important as well. Your doctor can help you manage these negative psychological effects as well as provide essential documents for you to build your case for your personal injury claim.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A traumatic event can cause a psychological phenomenon called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that troubles a person with flashbacks of the event as well as extreme stress. PTSD can manifest itself in:

  • Intrusive memories
  • Changes in moods.
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Uncontrollable thoughts
  • Severe anxiety

It is difficult to assign a dollar amount to compensate for psychological pain. In most states, there is a limit to non-economic damages. There are some states that don’t consider damages for emotional stress. Generally, those states issue a statutory cap on damages for emotional pain.

Your Need for a Personal Injury Attorney

An expert is required to prove emotional damage, so hiring a personal injury lawyer should be your first move. Your lawyer can help you break through the stigma against emotional damages that a jury and judge may present in your case. Choose a professional who has experience representing people who have suffered physical and emotional damage from car accidents just like you. You deserve to be compensated for the suffering you have endured despite any bias against your conditions.