The Psychological Impact of Auto Accidents on Victims and Their Families

August 24, 2023

auto accident attorney Alabama

Exposure to trauma can have a profoundly negative impact on a person’s mental health and overall quality of life. Car accidents are perhaps the most common traumatizing event in the United States. Even those that are relatively minor can make a victim fear for their life and struggle to move on afterward. It’s important to understand how car accidents can impact your mental health so you can get the treatment and care you need to heal.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, do not wait any longer to explore your legal options. Discuss your next steps with the team at Hodges Trial Lawyers by calling us at 256-826-4129.


What a Victim Experiences After a Crash

Auto accidents are often life-altering events for victims, changing how they view the world and what they prioritize in their lives. Shock and anxiety are incredibly common emotions after an accident, due to the complete loss of control victims experience in a crash. While these emotions may subside with time, they can also worsen.

Post-traumatic stress disorder can occur whenever a victim’s life is at risk or when they are in fear for their own life or the lives of others. Car accidents definitely fit this standard. PTSD often causes flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, and severe anxiety. Victims may avoid anything that reminds them of the accident and even be so fearful that they cannot get in a vehicle again.

Emotional volatility is quite common after car accidents. Happiness and joy may give way to sudden rage, hopelessness, or apathy. Such severe mood swings may be completely unpredictable and not triggered by anything.


How Families Are Affected

Victims aren’t the only ones that experience psychological and mental health concerns after an accident. Family members and close friends may also struggle. In some cases, they experience secondary trauma after learning more about what happened to their loved one. This can cause them to experience psychological symptoms similar to what the actual victim experiences.

If the victim suffers severe injuries in a crash, they may be forced to recuperate for an extended period of time. This puts one or more family members in the role of caregiver. This can lead to caregiver burnout, particularly if the family member in question is also working and taking care of the rest of the family at the same time.

Car accidents often shake up family dynamics. When a financial provider and caretaker of the family is bedridden by an accident, this makes them dependent on the same people they are used to supporting. Relying on these people for all their daily care can leave them feeling hopeless, frustrated, and even useless. It can make everyone involved wonder about their role in the family and struggle with their sense of identity.

The long-term effects depend largely on each individual family. Some families pull together during these difficult times, learning how to navigate them together. Others pull away and become more isolated, causing even greater strain that inhibits further healing.


Mental Health Support and Resources

Fortunately, there are numerous resources available for accident victims and affected loved ones. Therapy is an excellent starting place, and some seek out the help of a psychiatrist if medication is necessary. There are also support groups for those processing the trauma of a crash. This type of resource can help victims feel less isolated and show them that their feelings are normal.

The cost of treatment is often a huge stumbling block for victims and family members. That is why you may want to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your collision. They can help you fight for compensation that may cover your medical bills, mental health treatment, lost wages, and other expenses.


Choose Hodges Trial Lawyers for Your Personal Injury Claim

The team at Hodges Trial Lawyers is ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Let us help you through this challenging time. To set up your free consultation right away, give us a call at 256-826-4129 or fill out our online contact form to have a team member reach out to you.