If you were involved in a serious car crash, whether you suffered significant physical injuries or not, it’s only natural to have disruptive feelings afterwards. These can include anger toward the person who caused it, guilt (even if the crash wasn’t your fault), difficulty believing that it happened, anxiety about getting in a car again or simply a general sense of unease.

For many people, these feelings lessen over time, and they stop replaying the crash over and over in their minds. For others, the feelings don’t subside and may even intensify. They may have difficulty doing the everyday things they used to do (regardless of whether their physical injuries have healed or not). They may suffer from continued nightmares or insomnia. They may be angry, irritable and anxious a good deal of the time. If this describes you, you might be suffering from post-traumatic stress.

Who’s more likely to develop post-traumatic stress after a crash?

The likelihood of a crash causing post-traumatic stress depends on a number of factors involving the crash as well as the individual. It’s more likely if:

  • You believed you were going to die in the crash.
  • Someone else was injured or killed in the crash.
  • You’ve suffered another traumatic event in your life, like a violent attack, another car crash or a natural disaster.
  • You already suffer from anxiety, depression or other mental health issue.

Don’t hesitate to get professional help

If you believe you’re suffering from post-traumatic stress, it’s wise to seek help from a mental health professional. That’s imperative if you’re considering harming yourself or others or if you’re using drugs and/or alcohol to deal with your feelings.

It’s not unusual to need some professional psychological help to deal with the aftermath of a car crash. They impact people differently. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re overreacting or that you should just be happy to be alive and/or not permanently injured.

If the crash was caused by someone else, you have as much right to seek compensation for that treatment and for your mental pain and suffering as you have for your hospital bills and other medical expenses and damages. An experienced attorney can help you get the settlement you need to heal physically and emotionally.