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The Impact of Road Accidents on Mental Health: Coping Strategies

If you have ever been involved in a car accident, you know how traumatic the experience can be. When considering a car accident, most people immediately begin thinking about bodily injuries. However, just like any other traumatic event, victims can also sustain serious emotional and psychological harm.

Following a road accident, it is vital to address any mental and physical injuries that arise. Failing to acknowledge the potential mental effects of a serious accident could impact not only your physical and mental health but your quality of life and overall well-being as well. If you were recently involved in a car accident and would like to discuss your legal options, including whether or not you are eligible for psychological damages, call Local Accident Reports and schedule your free consultation with one of our nationwide car accident lawyers today.

What Mental Health Impacts Can a Car Accident Have?  

A car accident can cause you to experience ongoing emotional trauma. Generally speaking, feelings of anxiety and stress are temporary, but when they persist for more than a few weeks, they could indicate a more serious mental health problem. Possible symptoms of emotional trauma after a car accident may include:

  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Lethargy
  • Aches and pains with no apparent cause
  • Feelings of hopelessness or guilt
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Panic attacks
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
  • Difficulty readjusting to daily life

Can Car Accidents Cause Emotional Trauma?

Yes, a car accident can be emotionally traumatizing, even if your injuries are fairly minor. While most crash victims eventually find a way to cope with any mental health issues brought on by the accident, there is no predetermined timeline for emotional recovery.

If you were the driver at fault for the accident, you might feel foolish and angry which can lead to feelings of guilt and stress. If not, you might experience feelings of extreme anger toward the person who was liable for the crash. Intense feelings of shock, guilt, sadness, worry, fear, worry, and numerous other adverse emotions can materialize after a car accident.

If you are concerned about your mental health after a car accident, it is equally essential to seek help from a qualified mental health professional as it is to seek help from a qualified medical professional for your physical injuries. In fact, a decline in your mental health can even be caused by certain physical injuries. For instance, a traumatic brain injury could cause considerable changes in a victim’s mental health.

What Are the Long-Term Mental Health Effects of a Car Accident?

The mental or emotional injuries prompted by a car accident can easily impact every aspect of your day-to-day life. For example:

  • Sleep deprivation can cause you to underperform at work  
  • A lack of interest can cause you to abandon your usual pastimes or creative hobbies
  • You may distance yourself from romantic, social, and familial relationships because they seem overwhelming, which in turn leads to increased feelings of abandonment or isolation

Anxiety stemming from the potential consequences of the accident is common among collision victims. A protracted sense of dread and unease, nightmares, excessive fear, and worry related to driving or even riding in an automobile are also signs of anxiety related to the accident.

Depression is another mental health issue that is commonly experienced by many accident victims. Drug and alcohol abuse, loss of appetite, not sleeping at all or sleeping too much, and suicidal ideation are all symptoms of depression.

Car accident victims can also experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks and excessive rumination (constantly replaying the accident in your head). 

Keep in mind that it is completely normal to feel upset, distressed, or not like yourself for several days or even weeks following a car accident. If troublesome feelings and thoughts carry on for longer, you need to seek professional help. 

How Do I Cope With the Trauma After a Car Accident?

Many car accident victims find themselves struggling to cope with the depression, flashbacks, and anxiety they often experience. Some advice for effectively dealing with the emotional trauma of a car crash are: 

Seek Support from Loved Ones

It is crucial for car accident victims to have a strong support system. Whether it is your friends or family, having people who care about you and what you are going through can make a huge difference in your recovery. It is helpful to talk about the incident and open up about how you feel. Also, spending time around people who want you to heal and who care about you can be therapeutic in and of itself.


Professional counseling or therapy is another good choice for anyone who is struggling with accident-related trauma. A qualified therapist can offer personal guidance and teach you coping methods, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or relaxation techniques. They can also offer a space where it is safe for you to talk about your feelings without being criticized or judged. If traditional therapy does not sound like your cup of tea, myriad alternative therapies such as music therapy or art therapy can also help you manage your mental health safely and effectively. 

Self Care

When it comes to managing post-accident trauma, both physical and mental self-care are important. This includes exercising regularly, eating healthy meals, getting ample sleep, practicing mindfulness exercises, yoga, and breath control exercises, as well as taking screen breaks when needed.

You should also learn to identify triggers that could lead to anxiety or stress and, if possible, avoid them. Taking steps to ensure your overall health can help you cope with the trauma caused by your car accident.

How Can I Recover Damages After a Car Accident?

If you are experiencing a serious disruption to your job and/or your daily life, you might be entitled to collect compensation for your mental health.  Damages for a car accident commonly include financial compensation for physical injuries, such as medical bills, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. Depending on where you live, they can also cover mental health care, such as therapy, decreased quality of life, and emotional distress.  

If you were injured in a car accident and have questions about mental health issues you have been experiencing, contact the nationwide car accident lawyers at Local Accident Reports right away. We can thoroughly investigate the incident and help you secure the damages you deserve. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.  

Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this accident.

If you or a loved one were injured in this incident, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Having your case evaluated by a lawyer immediately will ensure your rights are protected. The first step is to request a police report, and we can do that for you. 

Contact us today at


to get the help you deserve. 

Local Accident Reports is here to provide you with valuable resources after you have been injured in an accident. In addition to your free police report, you can also schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys right now to find out more about pursuing compensation. If you any have questions at all about your legal rights following an accident, please don't hesitate to call. 

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Note: These posts are created solely for the use of Local Accident Reports. We have not verified the information in these posts as the information is gathered from secondary sources. If you have personal knowledge that the information contained in these posts is inaccurate, please contact Local Accident Reports immediately so we can make the necessary corrections or remove the story.

Disclaimer: We are providing this information to the general public as a resource to use in the event you or a family member are injured in a similar incident. Every effort is put forth to honor the victims of accidents, and hope the information presented helps others avoid the same type of accidents in the future. The photos depicted in these posts are not representative of the actual accident scene. Please contact Local Accident Reports at (888) 657-1460 to be connected with an attorney in your area who will answer any legal questions you may have.

Harvey Barbee is our chief content writer who also has nearly 15 years of experience as a practicing attorney. Combining his skillset as a strong writer along with his in-depth knowledge of the legal system, Harvey uses his talents to write informative pieces for law firms about a variety of topics that affect individuals. He enjoys helping people find creative solutions to their legal problems. When he is not writing or practicing law, Harvey enjoys golf, gardening, and spending time with his family in North Carolina.

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