Car Accidents and Post-Traumatic Stress
Kevin Biniazan—March 18, 2020
Some of the most devastating injuries a person can suffer result from a negligence-related car accident. Often, people sustain traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and many other catastrophic injuries. However, in some cases, mental trauma can last much longer than physical injuries.
Most people think of former military service members when they hear the term post-traumatic stress disorder. It is a severe condition, but it is not solely designated to a specific subgroup of people. Anyone can suffer post-traumatic stress, including those who suffer harm in a severe crash.
It’s vital for you to recognize how to deal with post-traumatic stress after a car accident. Of course, you can discuss your potential legal options with a lawyer as mental trauma may fall under the umbrella of non-economic damages. Below, we provide some ways to cope with PTSD after a crash and your rights moving forward. You’ll learn some of the coping mechanisms that can help you anytime you encounter any of your stressors that lead to emotions from the PTSD.
If you suffer mental trauma due to someone else’s negligence, call our firm at (855) 212-8200 to learn about your potential options.
How to Cope with PTSD
After a crash, you may endure some of the daily effects that come with this severe condition. It may make it difficult for you to complete some of the simplest tasks you did before you were in a crash. These steps can help you through each step so that you can start your healing process.
1. Participate in Activities that Clear Your Mind
It’s easy for something like post-traumatic stress disorder to impact your entire life. It can take away some of the things you enjoyed most before your injuries. As such, you may fear these activities after a crash, especially when it comes to driving. Make sure you are finding ways to help clear your mind whenever you find yourself concerned about the outcome.
2. Know How to Get Around Without Encountering Your Triggers
One of the biggest problems you may encounter after a car accident is triggers. Whenever you find yourself in the face of one of your triggers, it’s almost as though you’re not in your own body. You find yourself frozen, dealing with anxiety and stress because of the situation at hand.
In most cases of PTSD from a car accident, triggers can arise any time you try to drive again. If this is the case, and you find yourself anxious whenever you’re driving, it’s important to consider your options. While some people can continue driving and face their fears head-on, others may consider alternative ways of transportation to get to their regular destinations.
3. Speak with a Group or Professional About Your Feelings
One important thing you should keep in mind is that you’re not alone. Countless people experience post-traumatic stress because of one reason or another. You can find various support groups or therapists who you can discuss your feelings with on a regular basis.
For many individuals, discussing the triggers they have or their experience leading to PTSD can be a big stepping stone to recovery.
4. Put a Supportive Family Member or Friend on Speed Dial
Your feelings can come back at any time and make it difficult for you to continue doing what you were doing. Whenever this happens, one thing you can do is have someone you trust on speed dial that you can call at a moment’s notice.
Make sure this is someone who can provide you emotional support and maintain as much of your life as possible after a severe crash.
5. Remember the Method: R.A.I.N.
There are numerous methods that can help you deal with your trauma. One of the helpful things you can do is remember the R.A.I.N. method any time you feel anxiety, fear, or other emotions coming over you. R.A.I.N. stands for:
- R – Recognize that you have these emotions. They come to you when you least expect them, but you know that they’re there. Are they fear, anxiety, depression, stress, or another feeling?
- A – Allow these feelings to exist. They are there, and you may not be able to get rid of them. However, you can learn how to overcome them whenever they arise.
- I – Investigate what is causing you to feel fear, stress, anxiety, or depression. What are your triggers, and when do you encounter them? The more you know about them, the easier it can become to calm yourself.
- N – Not letting the emotions and fear define who you are as a person. They’re going to be a part of you, but they are not who you are. You can still enjoy many things in life without letting these emotions control your decisions.
6. Don’t Place the Blame on Yourself
Negligence is not something that is always preventable. You have no control over a situation when someone’s acting recklessly. You may feel frustrated with yourself for having trauma and being unable to complete certain tasks. Remember, though, none of this is your fault. You didn’t do anything to deserve a severe condition, and you can take action to right the wrongs you have encountered.
Understanding Your Legal Rights After Mental Trauma in a Car Accident
Like any situation, it can be difficult to seek treatment following a car accident because it can become costly. Of course, nobody expects to be in a car accident; thus, the financial situation can quickly turn into a big concern for you. It’s critical for your treatment to pursue compensation when applicable.
Before you start the legal process, speak with a lawyer who can help you understand your rights and options following mental trauma in a car accident. Keep in mind; most personal injury cases involve two types of compensation which you can recover:
- Economic damages – This type of compensation helps to cover any expenses you pay out of pocket relating to the accident. For instance, you can recover the costs of your medical bills, any wages you lost from being unable to work, the cost to repair your vehicle, and more.
- Non-economic damages – This type of compensation is what will most often help PTSD. Non-economic damages have no direct monetary value and are based on your emotional trauma and pain and suffering. The court will consider how the crash impacted your life emotionally and use that information to determine non-economic damages.
You shouldn’t have to endure life with post-traumatic stress disorder because of someone’s actions. It’s our goal to help you overcome the emotions you have by pursuing the compensation you need to pay for therapy and any other necessary treatment to move forward.
At Breit Cantor, you are our top priority. We’ll analyze your situation and work to determine what your legal options are. We know how difficult this can be for you, and we recognize the struggles that come along with severe mental trauma after a crash. We are ready to stand in your corner throughout the process.
Our Virginia car accident lawyers have a long history of helping people just like you when they need it most. If you find yourself dealing with mental trauma because of a negligence-related accident, know that we’ll be the voice you need to obtain justice.
Attorney at Law
Kevin is a trial attorney who passionately represents individuals injured or harmed by the carelessness of others. Between jury trials and settlements, Kevin has secured more than $15 million for his clients in his first two years of practice.