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Understanding the Emotional Trauma of a Car Wreck

 Everyone understands the physical toll that a car crash can have on accident victims: cuts, broken bones, bruises and spine and head injuries. That’s why car insurance coverage is mandated for all drivers in every state in the U.S. However, in most cases, insurance falls short of helping accident victims deal with the emotional trauma that results from crashes.

It can be debilitating, yet insurers often don’t see to it that victims get the mental health resources they need after a traumatic accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies are designed to pay the lowest payout possible to remain profitable. When dealing with less obvious issues like emotional trauma, they’ll do everything they can to avoid paying up.

Here is what you need to know about dealing with emotional trauma:

How the Insurance Industry Defines Pain and Suffering

For accident victims, there is often a small distinction between suffering caused by physical injuries and emotional suffering. Both can be equally stressful, but to the insurance industry, there is a clear delineation between these two. In most commercial general liability policies, mental suffering and trauma are not covered.

In fact, according to The Doan Law Firm, a top provider of truck accident attorneys Houston, insurance companies define ‘bodily injury’ in their policies as bodily injury, sickness or disease sustained by a person, including death resulting from of any of these. Insurance companies will often cover expenses associated with physical harm, including doctor’s fees, ambulance fees,  hospital bills, legal costs and physical rehabilitation. It may even include loss of income.

Mental Trauma is Real and Comes at a Cost  

Because the insurance policies don’t include mental anguish as part of bodily harm, it can be challenging for accident victims to convince courts that their mental trauma deserves to be included as part of damages to ensure smooth mental health recovery. A traumatic accident causes more than just bodily harm. According to an MD Edge study, fatal car accidents may result in more complicated mental issues like post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD comes with a number of symptoms like detachment, irritability, loss of concentration, insomnia and estrangement from loved ones. Accident victims are just as deserving of compensation for their mental trauma from the at-fault party and the insurance company. However, an insurance company will not give you full value for the compensation you deserve, even if you have the medical proof, unless you have reliable legal representation.

Mental Trauma Treatment

Mental problems are not like physical injuries that can be treated by simply walking into a medical facility. Psychological issues require special treatment to heal the potential symptoms like PTSD and mental trauma. Some of the treatment options that may be required include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Exposure therapy
  • Eye movement reprocessing and desensitization
  • Psychiatric therapy
  • Occupational therapy

Your doctor will determine the right treatment for you. The earlier you begin dealing with the mental trauma from an accident, the sooner you can recover. Understanding the recommended trauma recovery process by medical experts is critical.

Filing a Legal Claim for Mental Trauma

Car or truck accident victims have the right to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to get fair compensation for their injuries, losses and non-economic damages like emotional and psychological trauma. With the proper documentation from a professional medical expert and representation by an experienced auto accident lawyer, you can get reimbursed for mental trauma and associated treatment costs stemming from the accident.


Consulting your doctor after an accident is highly advisable, so you can document any psychological trauma that may have resulted from the traumatic experience of being involved in a fatal accident. Your lawyer will then ensure that you’re properly compensated for your mental suffering.

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