20 Apr 2022

By Boris Tadchiev

In Car Accident

Have you experienced lingering emotional or mental difficulties after a New York car accident? Even a relatively minor wreck can leave crash victims feeling anxious and unsettled. Serious accidents can lead to accident-related psychological issues that if left untreated can worsen over time and interfere with nearly every aspect of your life.

At The Tadchiev Law Firm, our New York car accident attorneys understand that the effects of a serious crash may go well beyond physical injuries. If you have suffered physical and emotional trauma in a car accident and your medical expenses exceed the limits of your Personal Injury Protection policy, our attorneys can help you seek full compensation for your losses.

Contact us today to learn more about your legal options in a free initial consultation.

The Human Brain Is Complex

People show a wide range of emotions after a serious event such as a car accident.

Experiencing shocking or frightening events such as a crash can result in emotional anguish and psychological issues with long-term consequences.

Research on brain activity patterns supported by the National Institute of Mental Health suggests that the way a person’s brain responds to stress following a car accident or other traumatic event may help predict their long-term mental health outcome.

Some people may display initial psychological symptoms that subside over time. Others may have long-lasting emotional effects that make it difficult to manage daily activities.

Emotional Distress After a Car Accident

When you are full of adrenaline in the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it’s easy to overlook your emotional reaction to what just happened. Seeking treatment for your physical injuries often takes precedence in the hours and days after a collision.

Even if you don’t pay attention to the emotional trauma of a car accident, it can have long-lasting effects on your life. The emotional effects of sustaining a severe injury, having a close brush with death, or seeing someone you love get severely hurt can linger after the physical effects of the accident have healed.

In a car accident case, emotional distress refers to the emotional suffering and disruption a victim endures after the crash.

The common signs include:

  • Feelings of anguish, rage, helplessness, or humiliation
  • Unexpected bouts of crying or mood swings
  • Sleep difficulties, including insomnia and nightmares
  • Loss of appetite or interest in usual activities

For many people involved in collisions, the symptoms of emotional distress fade with time. But other crash victims may have persistent trouble working, going to school, and carrying out normal daily activities.

Mental Health Conditions Following a Car Accident

In some cases, the trauma of a car accident can leave victims with mental health conditions that go beyond emotional distress. Anxiety and depression are conditions that can severely disrupt a crash victim’s life.

Clinical depression is more than just feelings of sadness. It is a serious medical condition that can result in various emotional and physical problems, including loss of energy, difficulty with concentration, and feelings of worthlessness. Exposure to life-threatening incidents such as a car accident can trigger anxiety and depression, which may last for months.

Some victims experience symptoms of anxiety after a wreck. Highly stressful and traumatic experiences like car accidents can alter the brain’s chemistry, increasing crash victims’ risk of developing anxiety disorders. If left untreated, anxiety can result in intrusive feelings of worry, panic, or doom that can be debilitating.

Long-Term Psychological Effects of Traumatic Car Accidents

When you experience emotional distress after a traumatic accident, you may be at risk of developing a diagnosable mental health condition with potentially long-term effects, such as:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – PTSD is commonly associated with military veterans who have experienced military combat. However, anyone who experiences severe trauma can develop PTSD and suffer overwhelming emotions, and intrusive flashbacks that force them to relive the traumatic event. Many people living with PTSD may have psychological problems that can linger for months or even years.
  • New phobias – Crash victims can develop phobias related to the accident. Some victims develop an insurmountable fear of driving, interfering with things like commuting to work or running errands.

How Do You Prove Emotional Distress After a Car Accident?

To prove that you are suffering from emotional distress after an accident, you typically need medical evidence showing how the condition has impacted your life. You can use medical records, journal entries, and witness statements as proof of:

  • Physical effects – Emotional distress can have physical effects such as inability to sleep, fatigue, and nervousness.
  • Psychological effects – A mental health care provider can confirm diagnosis or treatment for psychological effects, such as anxiety or PTSD.
  • The intensity and duration of the distress – Medical records and journal entries can help demonstrate the duration of the emotional distress and its impact on your life.

Can I Receive Compensation for My Mental and Emotional Suffering?

If your medical bills and related losses exceed the limits of your Personal Injury Protection insurance policy, then you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation for your physical injuries and emotional anguish after a New York car accident.

New York is a no-fault state regarding auto accident claims. After a collision, you are generally expected to file the initial claim against your no-fault insurance, regardless of which driver was at fault.

You must demonstrate that your injuries rise to the level of a serious injury before you can step outside of New York’s no-fault system and file a lawsuit. A New York car accident lawyer can review the details of your accident and your specific injuries and help you evaluate whether you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Contact an Experienced NYC Auto Accident Attorney Today

If you have suffered from mental or emotional trauma after a New York auto accident, don’t hesitate to contact The Tadchiev Law Firm. We can evaluate your circumstances and discuss your options for seeking compensation during a free, no-obligation case review.