Because of the serious potential for significant injuries, the first thought that comes to mind when considering a car accident is to wonder if anyone is physically hurt. If the accident is serious enough, after all, the likelihood of serious physical injuries, or even death, is fairly high. According to the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP, too few people consider the emotional and psychological trauma that can also result from car accidents.
Pain and suffering
This can be the basis for both actual and punitive damages in personal injury cases levied on those whose negligence or recklessness brought about the car accident. The effects of pain and suffering cannot be seen, measured, or submitted into evidence, and some of them only appear in subtle ways, or years after the event. But they can nonetheless be as real and as devastating as broken bones.
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the umbrella term used for the psychological and emotional damage one sustains in a violent or traumatic incident, such as a car accident. One of the most common PTSD symptoms is anxiety. An accident bring a person face to face with the fragility of life, and many people can’t handle losing the feeling of safety they previously had.
As a result, some find themselves unable to enter or drive a car. Others relive the accident over and over again through nightmares, affecting sleep, work, and relationships.
In accidents where one or more people died, some people experience what is known as survivor’s guilt, another form of PTSD where the patient experiences a sense of worthlessness and accountability for the lost lives. Without proper treatment, these symptoms of PTSD can permanently impair a person’s ability to function normally. It is up to car accident attorneys to ensure that the costs associated with recuperating, coping, and treating these unseen effects of car accidents will be shouldered by the person or persons whose negligence or carelessness caused the accident in the first place.