Emotional Consequences of a Car Crash

Losing control of a situation, even for a moment, can be stressful –it’s simply human nature to want to be able to influence the outcome. In a motor vehicle accident, this stress is heightened, because there are very real consequences to not having that control. Even the most minor collision can result in feelings of frustration, anger, grief, and other emotional distress.

Amid the shattered glass, dented fenders, and injured bodies, there is often also damage that can be hard to see.

At Recovery Law Corporation, we have encountered all levels of emotional injury resulting from a traumatic collision. Often, our clients do not realize that their symptoms are related to the incident. It is important to be aware of these issues and to get appropriate treatment and your rightful compensation so that you can heal.

These are some of the lingering emotional consequences of an accident that we have seen in our practice:


This is the most common immediate response to any trauma and can last for several days. It can affect witnesses as well as victims of car accidents, and often manifests itself as disbelief, confusion, or nervousness. Those experiencing shock can become very focused on the timeline of the incident as a means of explaining what happened.

Sometimes, shock can be apparent in physical symptoms, as well. Some of our clients have complained of numbness, restlessness, nausea, and dizziness.


Fear and jumpiness after a car crash is a perfectly normal reaction. People involved in any kind of collision are often ‘on alert’ for some time afterwards, it’s the brain’s attempt to avoid being taken by surprise again.

For some, this anxiety and agitation can become crippling, although, for most people, it will go away over time. Our clients have described their anxiety as insomnia, overwhelming worry, fatigue, uncontrollable crying, helplessness, social withdrawal, and an inability to concentrate.

In some cases, this anxiety can progress into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which can be devastating. It is essential to see a mental health professional if your anxiety is preventing you from going about your daily life.

Guilt or Sadness

Similar to the effects of anxiety, people involved in a car crash (victims, witnesses, and good samaritans, alike) can be overcome by feelings of sadness and grief –especially when there is a catastrophic injury or casualty involved. Whether or not they were at fault, we have had clients recount the debilitating guilt they have experienced when think about the accident. Again, it’s a very human reaction to think, ”I could have done something”, even when, in truth, there may have been no way to control the outcome.

Struggling with the effects of guilt or sadness can lead to severe depression, loss of interest in social activities or hobbies, an inability to concentrate, and can even affect your ability to work.


This is a completely expected and valid response to a collision. Whether you are at fault, whether you are the driver, the passenger, or are otherwise involved in the accident, feelings of irritability and blame can quickly rise to the surface. Like shock, anger is one of the ways that our brains help us make sense of and regain control over a situation.

Unfortunately, these negative emotions can fester in the days and weeks after the accident, as you repeatedly reflect upon the event. They can also linger for a long time, even when they are inaccurate. This can be very unhealthy, and can take a physical toll on the body, as well; high blood pressure and stress-related fatigue and pain are just some of the responses our clients have described.

Sometimes, victims of car accidents will misdirect their anger at loved ones, which can start a detrimental spiral. It’s important to maintain healthy relationships with the members of your support network as you work through your anger –those people can be the key to your recovery from all of the emotional and physical distress resulting from an accident.

Because there is often no visible or tangible evidence of the emotional consequences of a traumatic car crash, it can be easy to ignore the symptoms. At Recovery Law Corporation, we know that healing is not something anyone should do alone. While we are here to fight for your rightful compensation, it is imperative that you seek treatment from a qualified mental health professional. Don’t wait! Physicians, psychologists, therapists, and counsellors are trained to help car accident victims deal with the tolls of trauma.

Our extensive experience with car accidents has taught us that the mental effects can be just as devastating as physical injuries. Our lawyers want to help you on the road to recovery.

Contact the team at Recovery Law Corporation today, to discuss what we can do for you.

February 28th, 2018|Recovery Law|

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