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What You Need to Know about Shock After Car Accidents

April 18, 2024

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Injuries caused by auto accidents are painful, expensive, and can even be life-altering. When victims survive car accidents, they want to believe that the worst is over. But for some, the medical and financial consequences are just beginning.

Shock is not just a term for being surprised or upset. It is an actual medical condition and a common complication after crashes. It can manifest physically or psychologically, and both types of shock can have profound effects on victims’ lives.

Shock and Car Crash Lawsuits

Physical shock can result in complications that often require immediate treatment, and that means expensive medical bills.

Psychological shock, on the other hand, can be equally serious but less visible, as victims may experience stress-related disorders that can impact every aspect of their lives. For many victims, psychological shock affects their ability to work, support their families, and enjoy spending time with friends and loved ones.

When you’re suffering from shock after a crash that wasn’t your fault, our experienced auto accident lawyers can gather evidence proving your injury and calculate exactly how money much you are owed.

We’ve assisted many people whose lives were forever changed by car accidents that weren’t their fault, and we’ve fought hard to help them get compensation for their physical and mental injuries. If you or someone you love was recently hurt in a crash, we want to speak with you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Shock Can Be Emotionally and Mentally Devastating

The experience of being involved in an auto accident is often terrifying and even traumatizing. The loud noise of metal crashing into metal, the sudden and violent deployment of airbags, and the forces generated at impact can leave imprints in victims’ minds that never go away—especially when they suffer serious physical injuries at the same time.

Psychological shock is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although many people think of PTSD as something that only occurs to military veterans or people who experience violence, it can occur after any type of trauma, including auto accidents. A 2018 study found that around 22.5% of road traffic accident survivors experience PTSD, while a smaller study from 2019 found that the number could be as high as 45%.

What Are the Complications of PTSD?

Symptoms associated with psychological shock after a car crash include:

  • Agitation/anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Re-living the traumatic event via intrusive thoughts
  • Emotional numbness
  • Avoiding driving and vehicles in general
  • Depression

PTSD may go undiagnosed for long periods, but it’s a debilitating condition that can make it difficult for victims to live normal lives.

According to the Mayo Clinic, it's common for people with PTSD to have significant problems in social situations and at work, which can affect their career advancement. In some cases, victims are so deeply affected by the psychological stress of their crashes that they can’t work at all. That means no income for themselves and their families.

The American Psychiatric Association says that people suffering from PTSD often avoid reminders of what caused it. For car accident survivors, that can mean avoiding driving or riding in vehicles.

Avoidance of vehicles can be a big burden on victims and their families. For example, parents who suffer PTSD after crashes may be unable to drive their children to and from school, sports, and extracurricular activities. They may even be unable to visit their doctors and therapists due to their fear of vehicles, which can increase their risk of physical and psychological complications.

How We Can Help Shock Victims

At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, our Cleveland car accident lawyers know that crashes can affect victims in many ways beyond their initial injuries. The psychological effects of crashes can persist long after victims’ cuts and broken bones have fully healed.

Our lawyers believe that people who were psychologically harmed by car accidents shouldn’t have to suffer alone or in silence. We work hard to provide high-quality legal representation to victims with “hidden” injuries such as PTSD, and we do so with empathy, kindness, and compassion.

If you or someone you love experienced shock after an auto accident, our lawyers will do everything we can to help you get maximum compensation not just for your medical bills, but also for your emotional suffering. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can assist you during this difficult time.

Originally posted October 21, 2019.

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