A car accident is one of the most traumatic events that a person can experience. After a crash, the main focus is always on treating the victim’s physical injuries. That’s understandable — severe injuries need immediate treatment. But unfortunately, the emphasis on bodily injuries often means that individuals receive little or no help for emotional trauma.
The failure to focus on the mental effects of a traffic collision can have negative legal consequences for victims in Hawaii. Insurance companies place far more weight on providing compensation for physical injuries. In addition, state laws make suing for emotional distress difficult unless the victim has an accompanying bodily injury.
If you or someone you love is living with mental trauma after a car accident, a compassionate Honolulu attorney at Recovery Law Center can help. When you work with us, you get a legal team fully committed to supporting you on your path to healing. Call or contact us today for a free, private consultation.
Car Accidents and Emotional Trauma
There’s no doubt about it. Car accidents are frightening. It’s natural to feel fear, anxiety, depression, and survivor’s guilt after getting hurt or witnessing another’s death in a collision. For some people, those feelings dissipate with time. For others, it’s harder to move on.
Take post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as an example. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry found that nearly half of all participants showed clinical signs of PTSD after being involved in a traffic accident. Around 70 percent reported psychological problems that interfered with their work and school lives, and an additional 52 percent felt severely impaired socially. Family relationships suffered, and alcohol dependence, sleep disturbances, and repeated memories or thoughts of the traffic accident also haunted the participants.
Can I Get Compensation for Emotional Distress?
Emotional distress falls under a category of compensation known as pain and suffering. They are also called general damages, meaning no specific dollar figure is attached to them. Because the degree of trauma experienced by a car accident victim is different for every individual, it’s important to get a lawyer’s help for a reasonable estimate on the infliction of emotional distress after a car accident in Hawaii.
To make a successful claim for emotional distress, you must be able to show that the mental effects of the crash impact your day-to-day life. A car accident attorney can collect the evidence needed to substantiate your claim for you.
Tips to Cope After a Car Accident
If you’re struggling emotionally after a car accident, know that you’re not alone. Traffic accidents are one of the most common triggers for psychological injuries like PTSD, fear, phobias, insomnia, and more. The key is not to ignore your symptoms.
Consider these recommendations for coping with trauma:
- Seek help. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, counselor, or doctor. If you’re planning to take legal action, you’ll need a medical professional’s opinion to strengthen your claim.
- Don’t feel bad about “feeling bad.” Our society places too much emphasis on “getting over” things. While moving on is important, don’t add to your stress by feeling guilty. It’s OK not to be OK.
- Focus on the things you can control. What can you do to make your life easier? Get professional help if you need it. Identify alternative means of transportation if driving is too hard right now. Take the day off or hire a babysitter if you need alone time. You don’t want to isolate yourself entirely, but you need to be kind to your mind.
How Recovery Law Center Can Help
At Recovery Law Center in Honolulu, we take a comprehensive approach to legal services. We’re here to pursue fair compensation for your injuries, but we’re also dedicated to helping you through this difficult time to find