Navigating the Unseen Wounds


Often overlooked but of paramount importance is the significant toll a car accident can take on a person’s mental health. Car accidents have serious consequences far beyond the physical damage they cause. Victims often experience a profound psychological impact that lasts long after the event itself. For those who have suffered such an experience, the future can feel uncertain and scary. It’s essential for everyone involved to understand how these psychological injuries can change a person’s life and to seek compensation for the suffering they have experienced. Ultimately, it’s only through understanding and compassion that we can begin to heal both physically and mentally.


The Psychological Impact


Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD are not uncommon among car accident victims. Signs of anxiety may include a fear of driving, nightmares about the accident, or a pervasive sense of worry. Depression can manifest through a loss of appetite, oversleeping or insomnia, or even thoughts of suicide. PTSD, meanwhile, can lead victims to relive the accident through flashbacks or nightmares, feel emotionally numb, or become easily startled.

These mental health effects can be debilitating, affecting every aspect of a victim’s life. Recognizing and addressing these effects is crucial for the comprehensive recovery of car accident survivors.


Understanding the Nature of Psychological Injuries


The aftermath of a car accident often leaves survivors grappling with more than just physical injuries. Psychological distress, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), emotional trauma from the incident, and the inability to cope with the post-accident reality, can all contribute to a diminished quality of life.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)


A violent jolt or blow to the head during an accident can cause TBI, potentially leading to cognitive impairments such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and problems with reasoning. These symptoms can persist long after the physical injury has healed, profoundly affecting an individual’s daily functioning and mental health.


Emotional Trauma


The terrifying experience of a crash can often cause or even aggravate mental disorders. The shock and distress of undergoing or witnessing physical harm can leave deep emotional scars, manifesting in insomnia, fatigue, and prolonged feelings of fear or sadness. Further, mental trauma can be complex and cause an increase in underlying pre-existing trauma.


Inability to Cope with Changes


For some, the ramifications of a car accident alter their lives irrevocably, confronting them with a reality that’s drastically different from before. The newfound limitations or visible scars can trigger significant psychological distress, with individuals exhibiting symptoms akin to those suffering from emotional trauma, including mood swings and weight loss.


Identifying Mental Illness Injury


Psychological problems arising from devastating auto accidents must be treated with the same urgency and care as physical injuries. Mental health professional assessments can diagnose a variety of mental health issues, with PTSD, clinical depression, and anxiety disorder being among the most common afflictions.




Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is common among individuals who have faced traumatic events. Triggers like specific situations, sights, or sounds can lead them to relive the trauma, resulting in nightmares, depression, or hyper-alertness. This may cause insomnia, mood swings, and reliance on substances to self-medicate and cope.


Clinical Depression


Following an automobile accident, a person may experience intense sadness and grief, possibly leading to clinical depression. They might lose interest in once-enjoyed activities, feel lethargic, or exhibit mood swings, disrupting their daily life and relationships with family and friends.


Anxiety Disorder


Traumas like severe car accidents can induce high levels of stress and fear, leaving the affected individual tense and jumpy. Persistent worrying may lead to sleep disturbances and an inability to relax, possibly causing stress-related physical issues like elevated blood pressure or gastrointestinal problems.


Chronic Pain Disorder


Accidents can result in complex injuries that are challenging to diagnose or link directly to the incident, such as tinnitus or sciatica. Psychological stress can also trigger acute pain that lacks a clear physical origin but is nonetheless genuine. Chronic pain disorder often coexists with symptoms of other mental health conditions like insomnia, depression, and anxiety.

Psychological Effects of a Motor Vehicle Accident


Car accidents can result in lasting mental trauma. While some stress is temporary, prolonged feelings lasting beyond a few days or weeks may indicate more severe mental health concerns. Emotional trauma signs for car accident survivors may encompass, but not limited to:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Social withdrawal
  • Low energy levels
  • Unexplained physical discomfort
  • Sense of hopelessness
  • Substance misuse
  • Panic episodes
  • Guilt feelings
  • Suicidal ideation or self-harm
  • Challenges in readapting to daily life

Seeking Justice and Recovery


The law acknowledges the profound impact of psychological injuries, affirming that victims deserve compensation for their suffering, just as they do for physical injuries. Victims must advocate for their right to this compensation, ensuring they receive support for their visible and invisible wounds.

For anyone struggling after a car accident, seeking professional help is essential. Addressing mental health issues is a critical step toward recovery and adjusting to a new normal. Remember, healing takes time, and asking for help is okay.

While the physical injuries of a car accident can be grave, the psychological impact can be equally, if not more, debilitating. Understanding, acknowledging, and treating these mental health injuries are crucial for the comprehensive healing of car accident victims. Their pain might be invisible to the eye, but it deserves recognition and care, ensuring that every survivor has the opportunity to recover fully, both in body and mind.


Compensation for Psychological Injuries


In the realm of personal injury law, compensation for psychological injuries encompasses several critical areas:


  • Lost wages and future income: If mental health issues stemming from the car crash render you unable to work, compensation can cover current lost earnings and any anticipated future income losses.


  • Ongoing therapy and medication: The costs of necessary psychological treatments, including counseling and prescribed medicines, are recoverable.


  • Care assistance: Where psychological injuries necessitate daily living assistance, compensation for caregivers is considered.


  • Emotional distress: Beyond tangible costs, compensation for the pain and suffering from emotional distress is recognized.


Persons hurt in car accidents due to the negligence of others are entitled to compensation, not just for physical injuries but also for psychological harm. It’s essential for victims and their families to recognize that mental health injuries are just as valid and impactful as physical ones. Mental health injuries deserve our fair treatment and compensation.


Proving Liability and Psychological Damage


In personal injury cases, especially those involving psychological impacts, it’s crucial to show a direct link between the accident and mental injuries. Seeking professional help promptly is vital, with a diagnosis following the American Psychiatric Association DSM guidelines. Mental health complexities can complicate diagnosis, underscoring the importance of documenting treatment progress, expert evaluations, and related costs for a substantial compensation case.


The Role of Legal Expertise 


Given the complex nature of psychological injuries and their subjective symptoms, along with potential skepticism from insurance companies, having a personal injury lawyer is crucial. A skilled car accident attorney can effectively address these hurdles, ensuring that all aspects of your financial and emotional suffering are recognized and compensated accordingly. Law firms like Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault specialize in personal injuries and excel at evaluating your losses and advocating for a settlement that reflects your ordeal. With experienced auto accident attorneys, you can secure rightful acknowledgment and compensation, paving the way for healing and recovery.


Top Toledo Car Accident Lawyers


After a car accident, understanding your rights, especially regarding mental health, is crucial. While physical injuries are visible, mental wounds need attention, too. Advocating for your psychological well-being helps reclaim your life. With proper support and legal guidance, navigating compensation becomes easier. Damages from a claim can cover physical injuries, medical bills, lost income, pain, and more. Emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental health care needs may also be included. A lawsuit can hold the at-fault driver accountable.

Call Your Toledo car accident lawyers at 419-843-6663 to get started, or use our easy online contact form today.

If you reside in or around any of the areas we serve in Ohio and Michigan – MaumeeDefianceFremontFindlayLimaMansfieldToledo, and Monroe – and are searching for “the best automobile accident attorney near me,” you can count on having the best toledo car accident lawyer at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault to represent you in a personal injury or wrongful death case.  With a local personal injury attorney near you, help is just a phone call away.