You're heading home from a long day at the office, driving in rush hour traffic, when someone tries to run a red light - everyone's in a hurry at 5:30 - and hits your car. Your physical injuries are significant, but they'll heal.
While you may deserve compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages, it's important to note that the issues you'll face after the car accident could go far beyond just the physical injuries. Medical experts note that you could deal with any of these psychological and emotional issues in the aftermath of a car accident:
You may be scared to drive or even ride in a car. You may have a phobia related specifically to intersections, like the one where your accident happened. In a society that is built around motor vehicle transportation, not being able to drive is incredibly limiting. It could even cost you your job.
When clinical depression sets in, it changes the way you see the world. This isn't just a scenario where you need to cheer up or get a better outlook on life. It can be an all-consuming feeling that you can't shake. This is especially true if the accident is traumatic - if other people are killed, for instance, and you're so close to such a horrific and tragic event.
Feeling anxious may not be quite as dire as a phobia, but it can impact your life on a daily basis. Anxiety could still get so bad that you can't drive. Anxiety has also been linked to physical ailments such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath and much more. Don't write off your anxiety as a mental issue alone; it can become a physical issue, as well.
In the worst cases, your accident could even cause you to have PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder. This can cause a lot of the symptoms noted above, but it's often even more severe. It could make it hard for you to sleep, you could have flashbacks to the event, and it could impact your mood and personality. PTSD is often associated with soldiers, but experiencing a serious car accident can be similar to the trauma faced in war, and it can lead to the same long-term issues.
One study found that these four issues are far more common than many people realize, impacting at least 33 percent of people who are involved in nonfatal wrecks. Naturally, you could also experience them if you're in a fatal accident where you survived and a loved one is killed.
These are serious complications that could turn that commute home into a nightmare for years to come. You may need treatment, therapy, and even medication. Keep all of these things in mind as you consider your rights to compensation.