Thousands of people are hurt or killed in crashes across British Columbia every year. But physical pain and lost lives are not the only consequences of a car accident. Survivors often suffer emotional damages that can be just as disruptive and complicated to treat, but people often overlook them.
What constitutes emotional distress?
Any traumatic event can leave invisible but devastating scars on people who experience them. For instance, if you were recently in a crash, you could develop symptoms and conditions such as:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Inability to concentrate
- Travel phobias
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Intrusive thoughts
- Mood disorders
These conditions can develop suddenly or gradually, but in either case, people might dismiss them as fleeting or minor. After all, people cannot see the emotional distress you might be experiencing. And you cannot necessarily point to a picture of your injury to show what is causing you pain.
This does not mean that they are trivial. In fact, emotional and mental injuries can be severe and make it impossible for you to take care of yourself, go to work or maintain relationships.
Acknowledging these injuries
Treating the emotional and psychological damage associated with a traumatic event is not always a priority, particularly when there are physical injuries to treat or bills to pay. But acknowledging them is the first step to treating and recovering from them.
Some of the ways you can do this include:
- Keeping a list of symptoms or concerns
- Talking to a therapist, counsellor or other mental health professionals
- Taking prescribed medicine to treat depression or anxiety
- Attending support groups
- Prioritizing self-care
These measures can help you keep an eye on your emotional wellbeing and get professional help if you develop severe or long-term symptoms.
Discussing the toll of these conditions with your lawyer can also be vital. In addition to financial remedies for property damage and physical pain, compensation could be available to help you cover the cost of medical care, lost wages and other financial losses suffered as a result of your emotional distress.