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Car accidents can cause psychological harms (don’t ignore them!)

BAM! One minute you’re going about your business, and the next someone driving another car has come seemingly out of nowhere and hit you. Car accidents such as this are stressful, even traumatic events.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you will likely feel shook up by the shock of the impact. You may also have been injured, perhaps quite seriously. Even if the accident was minor, you may find yourself nervous behind the wheel for some time afterwards. You may be More cautious at crosswalks if you were hit by a car as a pedestrian. You may find yourself reliving the accident or having trouble sleeping.

Psychological Injuries Are Often Ignored

Major physical injuries are often obvious. It is hard to ignore a broken leg, or to doubt the seriousness of a situation that requires hospitalization or surgery. Psychological injuries may not be so obvious, and those who suffer from them often try to minimize their seriousness and carry on as before.

Often, we think of mental health challenges as something that happens to other people.  That can’t apply to us, no matter what we’ve been through. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is well-known as a condition that afflicts members of the military who have served in conflict zones. But PTSD doesn’t just affect members of the Canadian Forces. Anyone who has experienced a traumatic event – like a car accident – may develop PTSD as a result.

Get Help for Your Psychological Injuries

Just as with physical injuries, it is important to seek help from a professional as soon as possible. These professionals will help you heal and regain function.

The Canadian Mental Health Association notes that some of the symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Nightmares, flashbacks, or intrusive thoughts of the traumatic event
  • Avoidance of things that remind you of the event, for example, avoiding driving if you were in a car crash
  • Feeling nervous or “on edge” all the time
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Problems sleeping
  • Feeling numb or detached

If you find that you are struggling with some of these symptoms, or if other people in your life have noticed a change in you since your accident, it is important to reach out to a medical or psychological professional for assessment and treatment.

Psychological Injuries Entitle You to Compensation

Most people know that if you are physically injured in a car accident through someone else’s negligent driving, they are entitled to compensation for those injuries. But you may not know that psychological injuries can will attract compensation.

The law recognizes that psychological injuries can cause pain and suffering and impact your life just as physical injuries can. Unfortunately, insurance companies can be reluctant to acknowledge the connection between your accident and psychological trauma. An experienced personal injury lawyer can talk to insurance companies about your psychological injury in language they will understand, to help you get the compensation you deserve.

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