Most people associate injuries and damages with a car accident, but did you know that each wreck comes with psychological impacts as well? The scope of these impacts varies depending on the severity of the accident, making those involving fatalities the worst for survivors. What’s even more difficult is dealing with grief after losing a loved one. These are the psychological impacts they face.
While recovering from their wounds and handling the financial or legal aftermath of an accident, survivors develop emotional trauma. This may take weeks or even months to fully materialize due to the shock most people experience.
Left untreated, emotional injuries develop into mild or severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Anxiety and depression begin to take hold of the mind, along with wide ranging symptoms. Survivors experience some or all of the following:
- Disturbances in their sleep patterns
- Recurring nightmares of the accident or reliving it in the daytime
- Irritability and being easily startled
- Difficulty concentrating or disorientation
- Fear of getting into a vehicle, even as a passenger
- Sight, sound, and smell triggers that cause them to relive the accident
- Extreme guilt
Many people find that these symptoms lessen over time. It may take only a few days for some, while others experience their trauma for weeks or months. Any brief period is considered a normal psychological reaction to an abnormal event. However, experiencing symptoms for more than one month can leave lasting damage.
When trauma is prolonged, it’s vital that survivors seek psychological help in the form of counseling. It takes a therapist to help heal both mild and severe PTSD. Without any form of mental health care, these symptoms will eventually impact every aspect of daily life.
Survivors can seek additional aid, as well. Support groups for survivors are an excellent way to feel through these emotions and symptoms. Relying on family and friends for support is also an essential part of the healing process.
Handling Legal and Other Aspects
Part of the healing process also includes taking care of the accident’s aftermath. That means allowing wounds to heal, seeking compensation if another party is liable, and taking care of the wrongful death lawsuit.
Fatal car crash cases are impossible for individuals to handle on their own, which is why skilled legal representation is essential. An attorney can take care of the mountain of paperwork and gathering witnesses necessary for a case, as well as navigate the complex legal proceedings that follow.
They can also speak with your insurance on your behalf, taking care of every aspect that follows an accident. This gives you the time you need to heal any wounds and address any psychological impacts in a healthy way.
Whether you are the victim of the accident or the party held liable, it’s essential that you seek help for psychological impacts that last more than one month. Waiting to get treatment or counseling will only allow your symptoms to grow and worsen as time goes on. The aftermath of a fatal accident is difficult to deal with, but you don’t have to do it alone.