Can I Get Depressed After I’m In a Car Accident?
It can be easy to tell when you’ve gotten hurt after a car accident. Broken bones and painful and a spinal cord injury can have very noticeable symptoms. however, car accident injuries aren’t always physical. The trauma of the collision and the impact it has on your life can do serious mental and emotional damage, as well.
Depression is a very real consequence of a car accident. If you’ve noticed that you’re struggling to enjoy life or have just been feeling down lately, it’s important to seek help. It’s also important to know that you can potentially be compensated for your depression and emotional distress.
Study Shows One-Third of Car Accident Victims Struggle Emotionally
A recent study revealed that one out of every three car accident victims struggles with some sort of emotional or psychiatric distress in the year following their crash. This includes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and even phobias.
Car accidents can be devastating, even if you’re not seriously physically injured. It was once believed that issues like depression were only really seen in individuals who sustained severe injuries in an accident. However, it turns out that this isn’t the case. Anyone who is involved in a car accident is susceptible to emotional distress. In fact, just witnessing an accident can do some serious emotional damage.
This is entirely understandable. The trauma of your accident might haunt you. Let’s say, for example, that you were sitting at a green light at an intersection waiting to make a left-hand turn. While you were waiting for an opportunity, you noticed out of the corner of your eye that there was a big-rig truck barreling toward the intersection. The truck’s light was red, but you realized that they weren’t stopping. There was nowhere for you to go, so all you could do was brace yourself and wait for impact.
You might relive this moment over and over again. It might be difficult for you to go back to that intersection, let alone drive, at all. You might just see the truck’s headlights whenever you close your eyes, making it impossible for you to sleep. If you had a passenger who died or was catastrophically in the crash, the emotional toll might just be too much to handle.
Physical Injuries Can Also Cause Depression
You can develop depression after an accident even if you weren’t seriously injured. You can also get depressed if you were severely hurt. The extent of your injuries may be so extreme that your life has been changed forever.
Maybe, before the accident, you thrived on physical activity. You lived for the outdoors and adventure. Maybe being active was even part of your job as a firefighter, police officer, or construction worker. Thanks to your Texas car accident, you’ve sustained life-changing injuries. Thanks to a spinal cord injury, you may never be able to regain function in your right arm. You can walk, but your range of motion isn’t what it used to be. You also find that you have difficulty speaking and communicating with the ones you love.
As a result, you can’t just get back to life as usual. You can’t work and you can’t go out on the adventures you used to enjoy. It’s entirely understandable that you might begin to slip into depression and struggle with your emotions.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help If You’re Struggling After a Car Accident
It’s important to understand that depression is quite common among car accident victims. However, emotional distress can be hard to identify, especially when your life has been turned upside-down. Here’s a list of signs and symptoms that might indicate that you should ask for help:
- Loss of interest in the things you once enjoyed
- Loss of appetite
- Crying, sadness, and feelings of hopelessness
- Irritability and short temper
- Substance abuse
- Sleep changes
- Concentration problems
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Do not hesitate to seek assistance if you recognize any of these signs in yourself or someone you know who has been involved in a car accident. Worried about the cost? Don’t. If someone else caused your accident and, in turn, your depression, you may be entitled to damages not only for your distress but also the costs of therapy and/or treatment.
You Can Seek Damage For Depression and Emotional Trauma After Your Texas Car Accident
When you get hurt and someone else is responsible, you might be entitled to compensation from that person. If multiple people are to blame, you can even make legitimate claims against them all. This is true, even if you share some (but less than 51 percent) of the responsibility for the car accident.
When you file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, you can seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damage. Economic damages are paid to make up for the financial costs of your accident. This includes things like medical expenses and lost wages. However, some injuries – like depression – won’t have a specific financial cost. That doesn’t mean that they’re not just as devastating and deserving of compensation. These are called non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages can be hard to value. They can vary significantly from one case to the next. It’s important to work with an experienced attorney who knows how to fight to get you the money you deserve for the emotional trauma of your accident. For a free consultation, call Lorenz & Lorenz, LLP to discuss your case.