Motor vehicle accidents may cause intense mental and emotional trauma. You may need to take some time after a motor vehicle accident in Virginia to recover before getting behind the wheel. An extended recovery period often occurs as part of the most common types of trauma after a car accident.
Traumatic brain injury
Although commonly considered a physical injury, a traumatic brain injury severely impacts your brain’s ability to function. This can create problems regulating your emotions, especially if the accident affected your frontal lobe. More than 300,000 traumatic brain injuries occur due to car accidents every year.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PTSD refers to a mental condition that occurs in people who live through a traumatic event. Although the condition was originally discovered in war veterans, it may affect anyone who survives a traumatic incident. Common signs of PTSD include:
- Reoccurring nightmares
- Flashbacks to the accident
- Avoiding the scene of the crash
- Avoiding driving
- Increased agitation
Long-term psychological effects
Being involved in a motor vehicle accident may create long-term emotional or physical distress. This distress may last for years. These disruptions can affect your relationships with family and friends, and they may prevent you from returning to your normal daily routine. Returning to school or work may not be possible.
While physical injuries may easily be proven in court, emotional and mental trauma may be more difficult to prove. However, you may still file a personal injury lawsuit to file for pain, suffering, loss of wages and impending medical bills. You may also be able to sue to pay for future therapy bills.