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Overcoming Anxiety After A Car Accident

Posted by Harlene Labrum | Aug 01, 2022


Overcoming Anxiety After A Car Accident

Car accidents occur every day in Tennessee, and some are more serious than others. Many people who are involved in vehicle accidents that were due to the negligence of another motorist think only of the physical injuries they suffered when considering a lawsuit, however there are often emotional or mental factors as well. Car crashes can be catastrophic and contribute to trauma which may range from stress, anxiety, and depression to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms of anxiety can impact how well the victim of a car accident recovers. Those who want to learn more about overcoming anxiety after a car accident may want to consider visiting with Labrum Law at (615) 338-9500.

Emotional Distress After a Car Accident

Car accidents can result in not only the driver becoming anxious or emotionally distressed, but passengers who were involved in the accident as well. According to an article published on WebMD, most of those who had persistent anxiety following a car accident were passengers. Those involved in car crashes may experience symptoms or conditions that include:

  • Insomnia, nightmares, or other issues that disrupt sleep
  • High anxiety and stress levels
  • Depression
  • Development of fear or phobias (for instance, driving or riding in a car)
  • PTSD
  • Anger, feelings of guilt, frustration, mood swings
  • Decreased pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Withdrawing from human contact and social engagements

Those who suffer from anxiety after a car accident may want to consider consulting a physician or mental health counselor. Car accidents often have lasting impacts both physically and mentally.

Symptoms of Anxiety After a Car Accident

Many people experience anxiety or panic attacks following an accident. In fact, the United States National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (NCBI) estimates approximately one-third of people involved in car accidents that are nonfatal suffer anxiety or other emotional trauma after the crash. Panic attacks are extreme forms of anxiety that can seriously impact a person's life. Symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle tension
  • Feelings of restlessness or being on edge
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of worry that are hard to control
  • Sleep issues - insomnia, restlessness, difficulty staying asleep, unrestful sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Trembling or sweating
  • Nausea
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Feelings of smothering or short of breath
  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • Sensation of choking
  • Loss of control, fear of dying

It is understandable why so many people suffer from the symptoms of anxiety given the seriousness of some car accidents. Head-on collisions, rollover accidents, and side-impact or "T-bone" accidents can be especially serious and often result in injuries that are disabling or even fatal. When someone suffers multiple broken bones, loss of limb, paralysis, or other life-changing injuries it often results in severe emotional distress. Those injured in a car accident can feel free to reach out to Labrum Law to learn more about their legal rights and ensure they remain protected.

Coping with Anxiety Following a Car Accident

While it is a good idea to consider working with a mental health professional or therapist when anxiety or other emotional distress occurs after a car accident, there are many things a person can do on their own to help alleviate the symptoms. For instance:

Take Steps to Manage Anxiety

When someone becomes anxious it may be helpful to:

  • Practice taking slow, deep breaths
  • Learn muscle relaxation techniques
  • Practice yoga
  • Focus on the present moment rather than reliving the accident - make an effort to notice physical objects around you

Practice Self-Care

A car accident can be an emotionally scarring experience. Practicing self-care is so important, and those who have suffered physical and emotional injuries must be patient and take the necessary time to heal. Consider the importance of:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Exercising, when injuries allow it
  • Stay socially engaged
  • Getting enough sleep and rest
  • Engage in activities or hobbies such as reading, listening to music, cooking, or others you enjoy

Talk Therapy

When trying to overcome anxiety after a car accident it is important that those suffering do not hold their feelings in. Talk to a family member or trusted friend. Those with anxiety can share as little or as much about their experience as they feel comfortable with and talking with someone helps victims process their emotions. In addition to mental health therapists there are also resources online that may be helpful in dealing with anxiety.

Compensation for Treatment of Anxiety or Emotional Distress

Collecting compensation for treatment of anxiety or other emotional issues related to a car accident can be difficult when a victim does not suffer physical injuries as well. However, every state including Tennessee recognizes a victim's rights to recover compensation for emotional injuries that accompany physical injuries. In order to recover compensation for emotional distress or anxiety after a car accident, solid evidence is critical. This evidence may include:

Medication Records

Those who are prescribed medications for anxiety, PTSD, or other mental health disorders should keep prescriptions and try to obtain information pertaining to its dosages, uses, potential side effects, etc. It is also recommended you keep receipts for prescribed medications.

Mental Health Records

Whether a victim who suffers anxiety is treated by their family physician, a psychologist or psychiatrist, or a licensed counselor, the professional who provides care and treatment should write a narrative outlining their evaluation of the patient's mental and emotional condition.

Witness Statements

Others can witness to the emotional state of someone who is suffering from anxiety be it an employer, friend, co-worker, family member, pastor, or others. Obtaining witness statements pertaining to the victim's emotional state and written in their own words can be helpful in a personal injury case.


Many people journal today, which simply means they keep a written and detailed record about what they go through or experience each day. When a person has anxiety, it is helpful to keep a journal regarding nightmares, sleep issues, depression, panic attacks, or other details related to how their daily lives have been emotionally affected by the car accident.

Consider Visiting with Labrum Law

Overcoming anxiety after a car accident can be difficult. When someone experiences emotional distress on top of physical injuries they suffered, it can seem overwhelming. Those who have been injured in a car accident and are suffering from anxiety may want to consider scheduling a consultation with Labrum Law at (615) 338-9500.

About the Author

Harlene Labrum

Harlene is focused and passionate about helping those injured in car wrecks.  She earned her J.D. at Nashville School of Law and her Bachelor's degree at State University of New York at Albany, awarded with the highest GPA and high honors.  Harlene began her career in law as a personal injury par...

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