Car accidents involving other automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles or pedestrians happen in Staten Island every day. If you are a victim of a crash, you might not have realized that the emotional and mental impact of such a traumatic incident could continue long after the physical injuries heal. You might need help to prevent long-term trauma.
Even if you suffered no physical injuries but witnessed the suffering or death of a loved one, you might need appropriate mental health care for an extended period afterward. A doctor may not identify these damages during a medical evaluation after the accident because symptoms typically develop over time.
Anxiety and emotional red flags to look out for
You might experience feelings of impending doom, which is a sense that another tragedy or life-threatening incident is about to happen. It may cause spells of sweating, trembling and increased heart rate and leave you feeling restless, tense and nervous. You could even develop gastrointestinal problems. Anxiety can bring about the following emotional symptoms:
- Arousal symptoms: You could have trouble concentrating, feel irritable and struggle to fall asleep.
- Intrusive thoughts: Your thoughts might be distressing, and you could experience recurring nightmares.
- Avoidance: You might be unable, or refuse, to entertain any thoughts of anything that could be associated with the distress and trauma you experienced.
- Dissociative symptoms: You could feel as if you are looking at yourself from another person's perspective, with time slowing down, leaving you feeling numb and dazed.
- Negative disposition: You might be overwhelmed by negative thoughts and unable to experience positive emotions.
Are these symptoms interfering with your everyday life?
If you experience any of these symptoms for more than a few days, you would be wise to seek help; otherwise, you could risk the following long-term consequences:
- Acute Stress Disorder: ASD can develop after psychological or mental shock, and it is defined by the development of the symptoms mentioned earlier within about one month after the accident that caused it.
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: If you do not seek help for ASD, it might develop into PTSD. Although this disorder is typically associated with war veterans, it is common in car accident victims and could have an adverse long-term impact.
Your life can get back to normal
Although the emotional impact of a serious accident might seem overwhelming, recovery is possible with appropriate treatment. Seeking care for psychological injuries is as essential as for physical injuries. However, ongoing treatment often leads to mounting medical bills, and if you are unable to return to work for some time, the income loss can lead to even more anxiety.
If the accident that led to all this resulted from the negligence of another party, you could pursue financial relief. An experienced Staten Island attorney with experience in dealing with the New York civil justice system can provide the necessary support and guidance throughout the ensuing legal proceedings. The successful navigation of a personal injury lawsuit might result in a monetary judgment to cover financial and emotional damages.