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How to mentally recover from a car accident: 4 tips from a Washington personal injury attorney

  1. How to mentally recover from a car accident
  2. Are you or someone you love facing any of these common emotional and mental health struggles?
  3. Four simple steps that can aid your mental recovery
  4. Attorney Zach Herschensohn helps car accident victims regain peace of mind—and more

How to mentally recover from a car accident

how to mentally recover from a car accident

A car accident can turn your life upside down—and the scars that are left behind aren’t always so obvious from the outside. Emotional trauma, mental anguish, and other mental health struggles can persist, sometimes long after physical injuries have healed.

At Herschensohn Law, we understand that mental and emotional health are just as important as physical health. Unfortunately, car insurance companies don’t always see it that way, and car crash victims often face significant opposition to getting fair compensation for their emotional injuries. That can leave accident victims without the financial support they need to recover from long-term emotional trauma—while letting the at-fault driver and their insurance company off the hook.

In this blog post, we’ll look at some concrete steps you can take to mentally recover from your car accident, and how an experienced car accident attorney (yes, really) can help compassionately guide you through that process.

how to mentally recover from a car accident

Are you or someone you love facing any of these common emotional and mental health struggles?

how to mentally recover from a car accident

Everybody responds to stress and trauma in different ways. Yes, some people seem to bounce back quickly after a serious traumatic event, but most people do deal with some level of emotional distress. Symptoms can vary significantly from person to person, too.

Common mental health symptoms we see from accident victims and their family members include:

  • Trouble sleeping (or otherwise altered sleep patterns, nightmares, etc.)
  • Anxiety and excessive worry
  • Feelings of guilt (particularly when a friend, family member, or the other driver was also hurt—even if the accident was clearly not your fault)
  • Memory problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of energy or motivation
  • Unexplained bouts of anger or frustration, or other mood swings
  • Changes in personality
  • Constantly reliving the car accident in your mind

Even among those suffering from these and related symptoms, it can sometimes be difficult to fully accept the significance of mental trauma and make the decision to seek out a mental health professional. You might even feel self-conscious or ashamed.

These types of feelings are normal, but it’s important not to blame yourself. It’s not your fault and taking appropriate action if you notice these or similar symptoms can not only benefit your mental well-being, but also your financial well-being in terms of your car accident claim.

RELATED POST: Should I see a doctor after a car accident?

how to mentally recover from a car accident
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Four simple steps that can aid your mental recovery

how to deal with trauma after a car accident

Like we said above, the way that you personally respond to a traumatic event may be different from others, even in similar situations. Similarly, the coping strategies that work best for others may not be ideal for you.

That being said, here are a few steps you should strongly consider taking if you’re struggling with your mental and emotional health after an accident.

1. Speak with a mental health specialist

We really can’t emphasize this enough. An effective mental health specialist can help you in all sorts of ways, including sorting through your feelings, identifying the root causes of your emotional scars, and helping you build coping strategies that help resolve your specific concerns. This can include ways to feel less anxious or coping tools that allow you to ride in a car again without fear.

Furthermore, a mental health provider will be able to provide a specific diagnosis if your symptoms meet the diagnostic criteria. For example, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorder, depression, and others are fairly common after serious car accidents. And just like a physical injury that wasn’t your fault, you should never have to pay for mental health treatment for issues caused by someone else.

Being able to define your condition and give it a name not only helps you fight it, but also provides clear medical records linking your emotional scars to your car accident—and those can become quite crucial if you’re trying to get fair compensation out of the other driver’s insurance company. (More on that later.)

2. Speak with others, too

Mental health professionals aren’t the only people who can provide help when you’re feeling less than fully yourself. While a trusted friend, family member, colleague, or support group member might not have the same professional skills as a licensed therapist, sometimes just being a good listener goes a long way.

Study after study shows that people who rely on their support system tend to have better mental health outcomes than those who don’t.

Do remember, though, that you don’t have to share anything you don’t want to share, and you don’t have to keep speaking with someone who isn’t supportive. Choose people you trust to listen without judgement and have your best interest at heart.

3. Take good care of your physical health

Physical health and mental health are closely linked. If you’ve experienced significant mental stress or anguish, you know that it often results in physical pain, too. At the same time, though, taking care of yourself physically can produce positive effects for your mental and emotional health.

Some quick tips:

  • Seek professional treatment for any physical injuries resulting from your car accident and follow through with physical therapy and other protocols you are prescribed.
  • Try to get consistent and regular sleep.
  • Eat healthy foods and stay hydrated.
  • Get as much healthy physical activity as you can.

4. Call a personal injury attorney

You may not even realize that your emotional injuries (in addition to your physical injuries) entitle you to meaningful compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company after an auto wreck.

Things like constant anxiety or sleep problems can have just as profound an impact on living your daily life as a concussion, broken leg, or other physical injury. The law recognizes this, which is why compensation for emotional pain and suffering often exceeds the amount of compensation for physical injuries and medical bills in a car accident case.

At least, that’s the way it is supposed to work. The problem is that, unlike physical injuries, emotional injuries can be much harder to see from the outside, and much harder to prove. Insurance companies will shamelessly exploit this to deny you the fair compensation you’re entitled to. The best way to counter this tactic is by hiring an attorney like Zach Herschensohn who will fight hard for you.

RELATED POST: What to expect from the personal injury claims process

how to deal with trauma after a car accident

Attorney Zach Herschensohn helps car accident victims regain peace of mind—and more

how to deal with trauma after a car accident

You got hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault. Not just physically hurt, but mentally and emotionally hurt. And you deserve a fair settlement for all of the damages the other driver caused—not just the ones that are easy to see from the outside.

But if you want to actually get compensation that covers the costs of your injuries, you’ll need a strong case. And to build one, you’re going to need experienced and aggressive legal counsel. Proving emotional trauma and getting fair compensation for it is already a complicated, time-consuming, and difficult process. For someone who isn’t familiar with the legal system and who is actively struggling with their mental health, the challenge may be insurmountable. That’s where the Herschensohn Law team enters the picture.

Our law firm fights aggressively for injured individuals and their families in Kent, Seattle, and throughout Washington. From ensuring you get the quality physical and mental health care you need, to accurately calculating the damages you’re entitled to claim, to meticulously gathering evidence and building your legal case, we’re with you every step of the way. Let us worry about maximizing your settlement so you can put your physical and mental recovery first.

To request your free consultation with one of our car accident attorneys today, give us a call at (206) 588-4344 or complete our online contact form.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

how to deal with trauma after a car accident

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