Pain and Suffering: The Mental Damage Caused By Auto Accidents | Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley

After a car accident, most people are preoccupied with what they consider “important”: financial setbacks with a variety of financial accounts, healing from physical injuries, and even trying to keep a business alive. However, these are not the only types of damage victims suffer after an accident.

Many car accident survivors suffer from serious and sometimes persistent mental health problems. While some emotional stresses may subside over time, other psychological effects can be protracted. They can have a significant negative impact on all of your relationships, as well as work, productivity, and general mental wellbeing. Perhaps the most serious of these “aftermaths” is mental health.

If you have had a serious accident and are suffering from emotional distress, do not try to deal with it on your own. You must treat mental health problems in the same way as you treat any physical injuries you suffer from a wreck. Always speak to a doctor or psychiatrist. They might suggest coping strategies or suggest psychotherapy or medication.

Contact the Florida Personal Injury Attorneys at Searcy Denney for help whether you were injured in a car, truck, boat, train, ATV, or golf cart accident. We have experience in all of these areas of law.

Types of mental health problems faced by accident victims in Florida and elsewhere

Acute and post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the most common mental health problem among car accident survivors. According to the American Psychological Association, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of PTSD in the general population. Acute stress disorder (ASD) has many of the same symptoms as PTSD, but lasts less than four weeks.

Our Florida personal injury attorneys know that post-traumatic stress disorder can seriously affect your life if you try to manage it on your own. If PTSD is left untreated, it can lead to:

  • Problems with anger management
  • Loneliness and depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

Persistent fear

Many people experience minimal or mild anxiety for months after a serious accident. However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) state that moderate and severe anxiety can occur weeks or even months after an accident.

People who have persistent anxiety caused by certain experiences, such as car accidents, may experience additional side effects, such as:

  • Phobias
  • Panic attacks
  • sleep disorders
  • Physical symptoms, i.e. headache, dizziness, chest pain, nausea and muscle tension


Depression, clinically known as major depressive disorder (MDD), is another psychological problem that is common among both accident victims and the general public. In accident victims, depression is often associated with the physical injury and pain caused by the accident.

If you or a member of your family was injured in an accident in Florida, see the Florida Personal Injury Attorney.

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