Emotional Trauma After a Car Accident
When a car accident occurs, the emotional trauma a person feels can be debilitating, sometimes worse than the physical pain you felt in the days after it occurred. If you are dealing with emotional trauma after a car accident, whether it is a minor accident or a severe event, there are several steps you can take to overcome these limitations to get back to day-to-day life. It is possible to be traumatized after car accident events like this simply due to the sheer shock of it. Here’s what you should know about it, and what to know about auto insurance coverage.
Emotional Shock After a Car Accident
It’s sudden, unexpected, and terrifying. Some car accidents are life-changing. It is not uncommon for people to experience emotional shock after a car accident, especially one in which injuries occur. This type of trauma occurs as the brain tries to work through what happened. It’s common for your body to take steps to protect itself, which is why you may feel numb and terrified of getting into a car after such an event. This type of emotional shock may seem irrational to you (and sometimes to your loved ones). However, most people can work through it and get back into a vehicle again with some support and encouragement.
During the first days after such an event, don’t force yourself to get into a car. Allow your brain to process what’s happened. Work with your doctor to ensure you are as healthy as possible. This includes having a psychological exam if you’re experiencing significant turmoil.
Depression and Anxiety After a Car Accident
If a person does not deal with the emotional trauma of a car accident, it is possible for the condition to worsen with anxiety and depression. Those who have depression and anxiety after a car accident may develop it as a result of having a traumatic event. This is common in situations where the person is the driver or where someone has died as a result of the accident. Anxiety includes a fear of getting back into a car and even panic attacks.
It’s always important for you to get the help you need to deal with this type of emotional turmoil. Those who are predisposed to depression and anxiety shouldn’t wait to recover on their own. For those without a genetic or previous history of depression and anxiety may start to feel better over time. In all cases, seeking out a counselor may help you to move past the incident slowly and safely.
PTSD After Minor Car Accident – Can It Happen?
Some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder after any type of event like this. The accident itself can trigger a fear of getting into a car again. PTSD after minor car accident events is less common but can occur. If you were terrified of what was happening, you may develop an uncontrollable level of fear surrounding the same action. Your body does not want to allow you to be in the same circumstances that you were previously. However, you shouldn’t simply live with this. It can significantly worsen. Seek out help for your care after an accident.
Will Car Insurance Cover Depression After Car Accidents?
It is not possible to say fully whether auto insurance will cover your emotional trauma from the incident. The circumstances around the case matter. However, depression after a car accident may fall under the liability coverage of the responsible party (if someone else’s negligence led to the events). It can fall under a claim for pain and suffering if you are filing a lawsuit against the other driver.
If you caused the accident, you may not have coverage under your auto insurance policy. In some cases, you may have medical payments coverage. This form of auto insurance provides financial compensation for your injuries. However, the underlying concern is proving that the depression, anxiety, or PTSD is the direct result of the accident and not a pre-existing condition. Your auto insurance agent can help you to file a claim if you believe this to be the case.
How to Deal with Anxiety After Car Accident
Dealing with anxiety after a car accident isn’t simple to do. It takes focusing on understanding why it happened, what you can do to prevent it from happening, and overcoming the fear of the unknown. Working with a therapist, you may be able to overcome some of the mental anguish you feel, though.
If you’ve been in a car accident, document everything that happens. Seek out care from an emergency medical provider right away. Then, work with your doctor. If your doctor believes your emotional trauma after a car accident is the direct result of the incident, your car insurance may help cover some of the losses and help you to get care.