When it comes to filing a personal injury claim, the majority of people tend to think only about the physical injuries that have been suffered as a result of a serious car accident. However, in many circumstances a victim may also suffer emotional injuries such as post accident anxiety.
It is perfectly normal to experience uncomfortable or anxious feelings after being involved in a severe accident. Sometimes there is a sense of fear, uneasiness or worry. However, when anxiety begins to interfere with an individual’s ability to function it may be an indication of post accident anxiety.
Proving Post Accident Anxiety in a Personal Injury Claim
Post accident anxiety is a type of mental distress that may be taken into consideration when determining compensation in a personal injury claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help prove that your anxiety was caused by your severe car accident and requires additional medical care.
With physical injuries, evidence is much easier to obtain and visualize. However, emotional injuries require input from your doctor or medical specialist to prove you are suffering from post accident anxiety.
You will also have to prove how your post accident anxiety has affected your quality of life. For instance, if you are unable to continue working or your ability to function socially is significantly altered.
Symptoms of Post Accident Anxiety
Anxiety is generally coupled with physical symptoms, like episodes of rapid heart beat and/or hyperventilating. Panic disorder is one type of post accident anxiety that may be experienced with symptoms including:
- heart palpitations
- shortness of breath
- fear of dying
- chest pain
- upset stomach
With panic disorder these are typically recurring episodes that can happen over a period of weeks, months or even longer. Each episode can last just several minutes but cause a great deal of fear and physical pain when they occur.
Another type of post accident anxiety is generalized anxiety disorder with some of the symptoms including:
- difficulty sleeping
- tension in muscles
This type of anxiety is defined by excessive and irrational worrying that lasts at least 6 months or longer.
With a severe car accident there is also the potential to develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), another type of post accident anxiety that can include the following symptoms:
- re-experiencing the trauma either through flashbacks or nightmares;
- avoidance of people, places or activities that are associated to the traumatic event;
- inability to concentrate and sleep; and
- severe depression.
Post accident anxiety may take many forms and can depend on the person injured. For some it means experiencing fears that appear irrational to others. It can lead to other health problems and result in the need for therapy or medication.