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Car accident emotional toll remains after injuries heal

Are you struggling to cope after a car accident? Many people in Denver and across Colorado might not realize the emotional impact of an auto accident. After the accident, your trip to the hospital lets a doctor examine you for physical injuries, and the treatment you receive will depend on the nature of your injuries. However, long after those injuries have healed, emotional trauma from the accident could linger and adversely impact your life.

It would be best if you looked out for telltale signs of emotional trauma -- not only so that you can receive the necessary treatment but also for financial reasons. Treatment can be costly, and if you leave it too long, it might not be linked to the accident if you file a personal injury lawsuit later.

Symptoms of emotional trauma

It is not unusual for anxiety disorders to develop in the aftermath of a car accident. Make a point of looking out for any of the following red flags that might be symptoms of emotional trauma:

  • Negative mood: Negative thoughts could prevent you from experiencing positive emotions.
  • Intrusive thoughts: Recurring nightmares may occur due to involuntary distressing thoughts and reliving the accident.
  • Avoidance: Take care not to suppress the trauma by avoiding any thoughts or conversations about the accident and how it affects you.
  • Dissociative symptoms: These are involuntary disconnection with your emotions to escape reality. It might feel as if you see yourself from another person's perspective.
  • Arousal symptoms: Signs of this emotion include trouble concentrating and falling asleep and feeling irritable.

Any of the symptoms may cause you to feel nervous, tense and restless, and some people experience a feeling of imminent doom. Your heart rate could increase, causing you to tremble and sweat excessively. In many cases, it leads to gastrointestinal problems. Take careful note of these symptoms, and if any of them continue for more than a day or two, you need to seek help.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

If you do not seek help soon, you could develop PTSD, a severe disorder that could cause anxiety related to the trauma of the accident. Even if you escape severe injuries, the shock of the experience or witnessing loved ones suffering serious injuries or deaths could lead to PTSD.

Acute Stress Disorder

ASD is not as severe a disorder as PTSD, and many people ignore the symptoms, thinking they will pass. However, if left untreated, it could become more severe and lead to PTSD.

Your legal rights

If another person's negligence caused the auto accident that left you traumatized, you might have grounds to pursue a claim for financial relief. Your doctor and hospital bills and subsequent medication will form part of your documented claim. If you ignored the emotional impact of the trauma, you likely did not document the costs for treatment, which could continue for an extended period.

Personal injury lawsuits can be complicated, and you may want to seek the support and guidance of an experienced Denver car accident attorney. The successful presentation of your claim in the civil court might lead to a monetary judgment to cover your documented claims.

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