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I have had anxiety about driving since my car accident. What can I do?

Victims of car accidents don’t suffer from strictly physical injuries. Regardless of an accident’s severity, those involved in the crash can experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, phobias, and other mental injuries. This is because car crashes can be extremely traumatic, even violent events that create chemical imbalances in victims’ brains, leading to a range of mental health problems.

You’ll likely have many bills to pay after being in a car accident, including expensive medical bills and treatment for mental health issues caused by the crash. If you suffered mental trauma after a Chicago car accident, contact an experienced attorney at Langdon & Emison.

Our lawyers have worked with hundreds of clients who suffer from anxiety, PTSD, and depression after being hit by another driver. We will work on earning the compensation you need to pay for treatment so you can focus on recovery.

What To Do if You Have Anxiety After a Car Accident

After the immediate danger of a car crash is gone, some people continue experiencing symptoms of fear and worry. This prolonged “fight or flight” response is called anxiety, and it’s present long after the danger has disappeared. Many people experience some form of anxiety after a car accident – 55%, to be exact.

If you were in a car accident and are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, please take the following steps to protect yourself and your mental wellbeing:

1. Visit a doctor immediately.

As soon as possible after your car accident, you should visit your family doctor, neurologist, or psychiatrist. If you don’t know a psychiatrist, ask your family doctor for a referral. A psychiatrist will examine you and order tests that can help detect and diagnose mental trauma. It’s important that you follow this step as soon as you can; doing so will help prevent mental injuries from developing further, and your doctor will be able to rule out life-threatening injuries.

2. Obtain as much documentation as you can.

Seeking medical attention is the most important part of recovery, but obtaining various types of documentation can enormously benefit your case if you decide to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Medical documentation is important because it helps establish a clear link between the accident and the mental injuries that you suffered, especially if the accident was due to another person’s negligence. Some documents you should gather include your doctor’s diagnosis and prognosis, detailed notes from doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and bills for diagnostic imaging, including CT scans.

If you are unsure what documents would be helpful in your case, consult a car accident attorney at Langdon & Emison.

3. Speak with a Chicago auto accident attorney.

A genuinely helpful and understanding lawyer can make the difference in getting you the compensation you need after suffering from mental trauma. Money may be the last thing you’re thinking about after your car crash, but in the coming weeks and months, you’ll have growing bills to pay for your medical care and treatment.

While you focus on your care and rehabilitation, an attorney will focus on helping you get the money you need to move past the accident. A lawyer will also make sure the other party’s insurance company doesn’t try and deny or undervalue your claim.

Types of Post-Car Accident Anxiety

Vehophobia

Vehophobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by a person’s fear of driving. This disorder can present after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event such as a car crash. A person with vehophobia may avoid riding in or driving cars or even being near vehicles. Victims are unable to overcome the intense fear of getting behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this is a somewhat misunderstood disorder, but it is serious nonetheless.

It’s important to understand that even if you were in a minor car crash, you may still experience debilitating injuries in the form of vehophobia. This disorder can affect your everyday and overall enjoyment of life. Treatment is available for people with vehophobia, including behavioral therapy, medication, and relaxation techniques.

PTSD

Almost everyone has heard of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Many people associate this condition with war veterans, but car accident victims can share the same symptoms after a traumatic or violent car crash. In fact, at 2.5 million cases every year, auto accidents are the leading cause of PTSD. That means over 39% of people involved in a car crash will develop PTSD.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms after being in a car crash, visit your doctor as soon as possible, then contact a Chicago car crash lawyer to protect your legal rights.

Flashbacks or recurring memories of the crash along with a racing heartbeat and sweating

  • Avoiding certain places, objects, thoughts, or feelings that are reminders of the crash

  • Feeling tense or irritable

  • Having angry or aggressive outbursts

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep

  • Ongoing negative emotions, including anger, fear, guilt, or shame

  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities

  • Feeling isolated

Car Accident Lawyers in Chicago

It’s common for victims to relive the experience of the wreck over and over. They might have nightmares or insomnia, cold sweats, feelings of intense fear, or flashbacks. These symptoms should not be ignored just because they aren’t visible; anxiety can significantly alter a person’s enjoyment of life.

That’s why it’s important to protect your legal rights and speak with a Langdon & Emison car accident lawyer in Chicago. We know how devastating mental trauma and injuries can be for our clients. Anxiety can affect every area of their lives, and our goal is to help clients get back on their feet and move towards recovery.

If you were in a car accident in Cook County and are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, call Langdon & Emison at (312) 855-0700.