The aftermath of any vehicle accident can be confusing and scary. However, it is not uncommon for individuals to experience anxiety for days, weeks, or even months after an accident occurs. Depending on the severity of the incident, the injuries sustained, and the recovery process, anxiety could prevent individuals from going about their daily lives. Here, our Louisville car accident lawyers want to discuss various methods of dealing with anxiety after an accident and the importance of seeking medical treatment in these situations.
Anxiety is defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”
Most of us have experienced anxiety before. Often, this is just a temporary emotion, but prolonged anxiety triggered by a traumatic experience is very real, and car accident victims often experience anxiety for some time after the incident occurs.
In addition to regular anxiety that seems to be non-ceasing after an accident, this could rise to the level of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for individuals. Data indicates that approximately 22% of all car accident victims experience symptoms of PTSD, which includes extreme feelings of anxiety.
Anxiety after a car accident, particularly anxiety that reaches the level of PTSD, can be debilitating. This can keep individuals from working, enjoying hobbies, and spending time with family and friends. Anxiety can keep people awake at night and leave them miserable during their waking hours.
Most people understand they need to seek medical care for traditional injuries they sustained after a vehicle accident occurs. For instance, if a person sustains a concussion or a broken bone after an accident, they seek medical care for treatment.
Those who develop anxiety or any other symptoms of PTSD after a vehicle accident in Kentucky also need to seek medical care. This can include a visit to a primary care physician, but more likely should include a visit to a mental health professional. Vehicle crash victims, particularly those who have been involved in severe accidents, would benefit from visiting a psychologist or psychiatrist, depending on the level of care needed. A primary care physician can make recommendations and referrals for those who have been involved in an accident.
We do want to point out that recognizing anxiety in children who have been involved in an accident is more challenging. Children are often unable to properly articulate how they are feeling after a traumatic incident, so we encourage parents to ensure children are evaluated by a doctor or a mental health professional soon after an accident occurs. This is particularly important if parents notice any changes in their child’s behavior in the days, weeks, or months following the incident.
Any person who has sustained an injury due to the negligent actions of another driver should be able to recover compensation for their losses. If these injuries include anxiety and other types of psychological stresses, the compensation should cover the payment of mental health services. We encourage individuals involved in vehicle accidents to work with a trusted Kentucky personal injury attorney who can help them recover the compensation they need.