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Car accidents can affect different victims in different ways. Most car accidents leave their victims with physical injuries, facing a long recovery period and serious financial hardships caused by a growing pile of hospital bills. Car accidents can also have psychological impacts on their victims. Being involved in a serious accident can have considerable emotional and mental effects that stay with a victim for years to come. 

Can I be compensated for psychological trauma after a car accident?

Following an accident, a Virginia car accident lawyer can help you build a solid case and seek financial compensation for your injuries and damages. Although proving your accident caused psychological effects and pursuing fair recovery can be challenging, an experienced Virginia Beach car accident attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp will know how to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.  

What Are the Most Common Psychological Impacts of Car Accidents?

All motor vehicle accidents have the potential to be traumatic. Whether the incident is trivial or catastrophic, any collision can cause a victim to experience multiple psychological issues.

Some people seem to walk away from car accidents without giving it a second thought while others are not so lucky. Some of the psychological effects that victims commonly endure after a car accident include: 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental condition that stems from a terrifying or traumatic event.

Signs of PTSD usually manifest soon after the event. Although they range in severity, they almost always influence a victim’s ability to go about their life as they did before the accident. 

Some common symptoms experienced by victims of post-traumatic stress disorder are:  

  • An inability to stop thinking of or mentally replaying the accident
  • Physical or emotional responses to anything that reminds them of the accident
  • Having nightmares about the accident
  • Avoiding activities that remind the of or are related to the accident 
  • Intrusive or negative thoughts
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Being easily scared
  • Trouble focusing
  • Being irritable

PTSD symptoms can grow stronger as time passes or they can suddenly escalate when the victim is reminded of their accident. Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder generally involves prescription medications and various forms of therapy.


It is perfectly normal to experience feelings of anxiety at some point in your life. However, people with intense, persistent anxiety usually display more intense, life-altering symptoms.  

There are several different kinds of anxiety, but the one experienced by most car accident victims is known as generalized anxiety disorder. 

Some symptoms of anxiety in car accident victims can include:

  • Constant feelings of fear and panic
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Profuse sweating
  • Feelings of weakness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Going out of their way to avoid things that trigger their anxiety

Anxiety makes daily life extremely hard. Treatment usually includes prescription medicines and therapy, depending on the severity of the victim’s symptoms.  

Emotional Trauma

Emotional trauma is a phrase that encompasses multiple mental health conditions with a wide array of symptoms. Many of the symptoms of emotional trauma imitate other mental health problems such as: 

  • Constant feelings of hopelessness and sadness 
  • Inability to stop worrying
  • Difficulty remembering and concentrating 
  • Issues with sleeping
  • Appetite changes
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Pain that does not appear to have a physical source

Talk to a Virginia Car Accident Attorney

Any car accident can cause emotional trauma. Your Virginia car accident lawyers will understand how to deal with emotional trauma and seek the financial compensation you are entitled to. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of emotional trauma after a car accident, our attorneys can help. Schedule a free case review with the Virginia Beach car accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp by calling (833) 997-1774 today. 

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