Federal statistics show that nearly two million people sustained injuries in U.S. traffic crashes in a recent year. These figures can tell us how many auto accidents occurred. But they can’t show the emotional toll collisions take on accident victims.
Several things happen in the immediate aftermath of a car crash. First, the body experiences physiological changes to cope with the situation. That often means shoving emotional reactions to the side while dealing with what’s happening in front of you. But later, the emotional impact can hit like a tidal wave ― especially if you or someone you love was seriously injured.
Don’t ignore your feelings after a crash. Many people experience anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a collision. These mental effects are injuries, too. And compensation could be possible for mental injuries through a personal injury claim.
But emotional distress can be difficult to prove. Indeed, insurance companies can see bodily injuries, but emotional injuries are invisible. An experienced Hawaii car accident lawyer can develop a strategy to demonstrate these injuries to the insurance company, judge, or jury.
What Does a Car Accident Feel Like?
Car accidents impact the body, no matter how fast the vehicles move. It’s basic physics. Your car and body are traveling at the same speed until some external force ― like another vehicle or tractor-trailer ― forces you to stop.
Fortunately, modern cars are built with technologies like airbags and seat belts to cushion the blow. But even a fender bender can cause a jolt that leaves you disoriented or hurt.
Your body also reacts to the trauma internally by releasing adrenaline. This “fight or flight” hormone heightens our senses and pushes blood and oxygen to our bodies to handle what just happened. An “adrenaline rush” and the release of other endorphins are reasons people may not feel hurt immediately after a wreck. The pain may start later.
Always get checked for injuries as soon as possible. You may not feel the injury, but your doctor could detect it in an examination.
Watch Out for Shock
One threat in the moments after a collision is shock. The sudden trauma could cause a drop in blood pressure that could ultimately lead to organ failure. Symptoms of shock include:
- Cool, pale skin
- Blue or gray tinge to lips and fingernails
- Rapid pulse or breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dilated pupils
- Dizziness or anxiety
Call 911 right away if you or someone involved in the accident shows any signs of shock.
Common Emotional Reactions to a Car Accident
Don’t be surprised if you experience emotional distress after a car wreck. Every individual responds differently to the trauma of a wreck. Common emotional reactions include:
- “Re-living” the accident over and over
- Mood swings
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer Today
The compassionate Oahu attorneys at Recovery Law Center know that car accidents leave more than physical scars. Compensation can help if you’re living with an emotional injury like PTSD or anxiety, allowing you to get the treatment you need to cope and move forward in life.
Take comfort in knowing that legal help is available right away. Call or contact us for a free consultation with a Hawaii car accident attorney.