It is quite normal to feel a range of emotions after a car accident, including depression. Car accidents can be frightening and traumatic experiences. Each accident, of course, is quite unique and will affect people in different ways.
Most states allow an accident victim to claim financial compensation for the injuries they receive when involved in an accident that was due to someone else’s negligence. This may include emotional and psychological suffering as would be experienced in depression brought about by the accident.
It is unlikely, although theoretically possible, that someone involved in a car accident received no physical injuries, but still suffered from post accident depression. That means that the personal injury claim would have to factor in a specific component for the depression.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help with preparing a claim and negotiating with the insurer of the driver at fault.
How a Post Car Accident Depression May Affect You
Most car accident victims feel a range of emotions following a car accident. The victim may have experienced frightening events, gone through a period of pain and seen other people injured, perhaps seriously.
Injuries received may cause anxiety, anger, irritability, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and depression. The accident may mean financial hardship, the loss of normal physical faculties as well as pressure on the ability to retain a job. It is not surprising that any of these effects may lead to depression.
Physical and psychological symptoms of depression may include:
- aching muscles;
- stomach disorders;
- an inability to remember;
- difficulties in concentrating;
- flashbacks to the car accident.
Symptoms of depression are real and do need to be dealt with, just like physical injuries. Emotional support from friends and family is important. So may be help from a psychiatrist or counselor.
It's fairly common that after a serious auto accident that a person's lifestyle can change.
Here is some additional information on what you should do if you want to file a personal injury claim if your accident caused you emotional distress and depression.
There may be a need to address the physical symptoms of depression just as much as the psychological ones. Because depression can also cause financial pressure it should be included in a personal injury claim.
Damages Available for Post Accident Depression
If depression is cited in a personal injury claim, the financial effects do need to be carefully calculated. The cost of any specialist medical attention such as psychiatric assessment and help, counseling and medication should be included as well as any lost earnings due to time lost because of the feelings of depression.
It is likely that the insurer will try and claim that the depression is not genuine, was something that occurred before the accident or that the medical costs are exaggerated.
It is important that as much documentation relevant to the effects of the feelings of post accident depression is retained for perusal as part of the claim.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help With Your Claim
Claiming for emotional and psychological damages is not as straightforward as claiming for physical damages.
You will find that an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help explain what you need to do to ensure that your claim appears genuine and demonstrates clearly enough that the depression is clearly linked to the trauma of the accident and that this was caused by someone else’s negligence.
If you still have questions on what next steps you have to take, it is always best to speak with a personal injury attorney in your area.