Psychiatric Injuries from an Auto Accident

Not all injuries caused by auto accidents are physical injuries. An unfortunate truth about traumatic auto accidents is that they can leave scars on victims that run deeper than physical wounds. Even those who were apparently uninjured physically during an accident can suffer from stress and mental trauma for a long time after the incident. These victims may be entitled to compensation for their psychiatric injuries.

Common types of psychiatric injuries associated with auto accident victims include:

  • Acute stress disorder – sometimes referred to as “mental shock,” its symptoms include emotional detachment, emptiness, numbness, nightmares, and other signs of psychological trauma for between two days and four weeks following the trigger event, such as a car accident.
  • Adjustment disorder – after a loss, such as the death of a loved one or similar life-altering event, the victim experiences behavioral changes and severe mood swings; this can sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts or behavior.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder – Also known as PTSD, those who experience it undergo a variety of issues following life-altering or shocking events, such as severe auto accidents. This includes a changed or warped “fight or flight” response, flashbacks to the traumatic event, nightmares, severe or persistent anxiety or “bad thoughts,” outbursts of anger, guilt, or depression, or a feeling of detachment or mental numbness.

-Source: National Institutes of Health


Occasionally, witnesses to horrific auto accidents suffer from debilitating psychiatric injuries, as well, and they may experience some of the symptoms noted above.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a psychiatric injury caused by an auto accident, one of the first things you should do is contact a lawyer who understands the nature of these types of injuries.

To speak with an injury lawyer now, call at 844.TOL.AUTO. We can answer all of your questions, and the call and the advice is free.