Anxiety after a Car Accident

By Matt Lalande in Hamilton Disability Lawyer, Long-Term Disability on December 06, 2022

Anxiety after a Car Accident

Anxiety after a Serious Car Accident

As of 2022, there are over 23 million Canadian drivers across the country, driving personal cars and vans, motorcycles, and trucks. With such a large number of drivers on the road, car accidents are, unfortunately, common. According to the Canadian Transportation Safety Board (CTSB), out of the 160,000 car accidents that happen in Canada on average every year, nearly a third of car accident survivors will go on to experience some sort of mental health issues like anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or depression as a result of their experience.

Studies done by the Canadian government have shown that car accident survivors are more likely to experience anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression than those who have not been in a car accident. Along with the stress of having to recover from their physical injuries, the experience of anxiety and PTSD can be debilitating and can prevent car accident survivors from living a normal life. Many people feel anxiety after a car accident injury, especially if the injuries are severe. The anxiety can be caused by many different things, such as the fear of re-injury, pain, or even just the thought of having to go through the healing process again. For other, financial devastation and ruin after a car accident can cause debilitating anxiety that is never goes away – but rather, needs to be managed. For some people, anxiety after an injury can be so severe that it interferes with their ability to heal properly.The experience of being in a serious accident, dealing with injuries, and the emotional trauma of dealing with the injury or loss of a loved one can all accumulate and develop into anxiety and depression.

If you’ve been inviolved in a serious car accident and suffer from debilitating anxiety, it is important that you talk to a Hamilton car accident lawyer as soon as possible to learn your legal rights and what you are entitled to. Matt Lalande has been representing car accident victims since 2003 and has recovered tens of millions in compensation for hurt people all over Ontario. Call Matt today no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Hamilton area at 905-333-8888. Alternatively, you can contact us and tell us your story by sending a message through out website.

Anxiety Symptoms are Common after a Car Accident.

A serious car accident is a traumatic event that can leave you feeling scared, angry, and helpless. The physical and emotional injuries you sustained can be overwhelming, and the thought of getting behind the wheel again may fill you with dread. You may also experience physical symptoms like headaches, chest pain, dizziness, and trouble sleeping. These symptoms can be extremely disruptive, make it difficult to return to your everyday life.

Car accident survivors may quit driving entirely, avoid being in a car, or have difficulty going to work or school after a serious car accident. The impact of car accidents doesn’t stop when the physical injuries heal. Psychological injuries – anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress – can result in symptoms that be long-lasting, life-long and extremely disruptive.

All in all, anxiety is a very serious condition for many. While symptoms can vary from person to person, there are some common symptoms that are associated with anxiety, which can include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Avoiding people or places that are associated with the accident
  • Feeling jumpy or easily startled
  • Racing thoughts or intrusive thoughts about the accident
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling numb or detached from your surroundings
  • persistent worry and nervousness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • racing heart or trembling
  • sweating, and feeling dizzy or lightheaded.

Left untreated, anxiety can lead to serious problems, including depression, substance abuse, and even suicidal thoughts or behaviors. If you think you may be suffering from anxiety, don’t wait to get help – seek professional assistance as soon as possible.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can originate from the actual car crash experience and the traumatic fear that a car accident may happen again. Many survivors of car accidents will often relive the experience of the car accident in their minds, or they may have trouble sleeping due to nightmares. PTSD comes from reliving the car crash experience, with the slight smell or sound returning them to the car accident. For those who experience injury or witness their family members and loved ones injured or worse in car accidents, the anxiety and PTSD can be even worse. Car accident survivors may forever link the sound of screeching brakes with the event that took the life of a loved one, a negative association that may never be erased and cause them to freeze up every time they’re in the presence of a car, out on the road, or near anything that reminds them of the traumatic car accident.

Car accidents can result in many different serious physical and psychological injuries that can be life altering – such as spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and orthopedic injuries. The pain may last for months, years and over the remainder of one’s life. It’s long been clinically found that there is a significant relationship between anxiety and pain symptoms, as well as between pain and suicidal thoughts. Car accident victims who develop a long history of pain disorders also have increased depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as suicidal thoughts. Victims with more severe depression and anxiety symptoms also have an increase in pain problems. The intensity of pain often correlates with the intensity of psychopathological symptoms – both with mood lowering and with anxiety symptoms and worry.

Experiencing physical injury from a serious car crash can provide a number of reasons for developing anxiety:

Worry about the prognosis of recovery: depending on the extent of their physical injuries, car accident survivors may be concerned about the long-term impact of their car crash experience.

Concerns about financial insecurity: car accident victims may have to deal with mounting medical bills and car accident expenses, leading to financial difficulties.

Fear of driving: car accident survivors may fear getting back on the road due to anxiety and fear of car crashes. PTSD related to cars, the road, and even stepping out into traffic to walk across the road are common car accident after-effects.

Fear of future car accidents: car accident survivors may be wary about the possibility of another car crash, and thus may try to avoid car travel or other activities involving car use.

Fear of seeking medical attention: car accident victims may be reluctant to seek additional medical attention out of fear or embarrassment. This can be the result of both anxiety of the possible outcome of a medical opinion as well as the fear of additional car accident-related costs.

Dissociation from injury: particularly an issue in cases where traumatic injury has required the removal of a body part like an arm or leg, car accident survivors may suffer from physical and emotional dissociation, further complicating anxiety issues. It can take a great deal of time, along with active professional mental health support, for some individuals to accept the reality of

Studies by the American College of Surgeons show car accident survivors experience anxiety symptoms such as headaches, chest pain, dizziness, and trouble sleeping. Car accident survivors may develop anxiety from worrying if they will ever fully recover from their injuries and how life might change for them even if they can make a full recovery. In fact, for many individuals, the positive progress made in the physical recovery of many post-car accident survivors can be undone by the anxiety that slows down someone’s path to recovery or stops someone from recovery altogether.

Anxiety and Parents of Injured Children

While anxiety about a personal experience being in a serious car accident is understandable, car accident survivors can also experience anxiety because of an injured family member or loved one. This type of anxiety is particularly common when a car accident victim is facing a long recovery process or if there are fears that the car accident survivor will never make a full recovery. Parents of injured children are particularly vulnerable to developing anxiety in these sorts of situations:

Fear of unknown future repercussions: While in the hospital and at bedside with their recovering child, the feelings of uncertainty and worry that parents deal with cannot be understated. Parents may worry about the long-term effects of car accidents on their children’s lives. Even with the best post-trauma care, a car accident’s trauma can negatively affect a child for years afterwards, and parents may struggle to cope with that reality.

Anxiety about a child’s pain: Seeing your child or family member in pain can be difficult for car accident survivors and their families to bear. Parents may struggle with their helplessness when watching their children endure pain; some might even say that it would be easier for them to go through the experience than witnessing their children suffer. Some car accident survivors may have difficulty even talking about the car accident and their car crash experience.

Financial stress: car accident survivors can incur expensive medical bills and car accident expenses. Even if car accident victims have car insurance, the car insurance company may not cover all car accident-related costs, leading to financial strain. On average, the medical bills alone for car accident survivors can average between $20,000 and $80,000, which is enough to put a family into a serious financial situation. In the best of times, financial stress is a major reason for someone to develop anxiety and stress-related mental health disorders, much less after a car accident recovery.

Concerns about a child’s anxieties: One of the greatest sources of worry for any parent is seeing their child uneasy or nervous. Just as adult car accident survivors experience anxiety about situations that remind me of their car accidents, children who survive car accidents may also experience anxiety when in car-related situations. Children can be even more susceptible to developing anxiety as a result of car accidents and similar traumatic situations because they have even less control and power over their own safety than the adults in their life. A child experiencing anxiety from a serious car accident might have difficulty sleeping, nightmares, difficulty concentrating, or an overall fear of car-related situations and may also exhibit visible behavioural issues like sudden bursts of anger, aggression, or self-isolation. Watching their child suffer from car accident-related anxieties can be extremely difficult for a parent.

Personal injuries are very painful experiences that can drain an individual and require a great deal of energy and physical resources to heal from. Car accident survivors and their families must also prepare for the possibility of post-traumatic anxiety, whether they are injured in serious car accidents or if their anxiety is for someone close to them who is struggling with physical injuries from a car accident.

Anxiety after the Wrongful Death of a Loved One

Losing a loved one in a car accident is perhaps one of the worst outcomes of this sort of traumatic event. Not only can car accident survivors and their families suffer from the physical and psychological consequences of car accidents, but they also must confront their grief. The mourning process can be long and difficult, with car accident survivors having to cope with their immense grief and the car accident trauma. Developing anxiety in the wake of losing a loved one in a car accident is, unfortunately, a common occurrence for a number of reasons:

Survivor’s guilt: car accident survivors may struggle with feelings of guilt and regret associated with surviving car accidents and the death of their loved ones. Feelings of somehow betraying a family member by surviving a car accident can create irrational anxieties and guilt. This survivor’s guilt can manifest in varying forms of psychological distress, such as depression and anxiety.

Accepting the reality of a loved one’s loss: for some, it can be simply too much to even accept the reality that a car accident has taken a loved one away. The shock and trauma of car accident survivors can make it difficult to acknowledge that a car accident actually occurred. This can contribute to car accident-related anxieties and other mental health issues. If taken to an extreme, individuals can suffer psychotic breaks and develop delusions that the car accident did not actually happen.

Financial strain: car accident survivors may also experience financial difficulties associated with their loved one’s car accident-related death. Funeral costs, medical bills, car repairs, and car insurance claims can add up quickly after a car accident fatality and car accident survivors can be taken by surprise when facing these expenses. Dealing with these realities of the car accident can trigger PTSD episodes and car accident-related anxiety.

Situational anxiety: Sounds, smells, and locations that remind individuals of a loved one who has passed away can trigger car accident-related anxieties. It could be a sound resembling a car engine backfiring, the image of a traffic signal turning green or red, or the act of simply getting into a car that might be enough to set off someone’s anxiety. For car accident survivors, these triggers are not always avoidable and can leave car accident survivors feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

Self-isolation: one way that some choose to process losing a loved one is by self-isolating, which can further compound car accident-related anxieties. Self-isolation usually occurs when car accident survivors feel a sense of guilt and shame over the car accident or because they feel as though they do not deserve to be surrounded by people when their loved one is not. In some cases, self-isolation is a symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder; for some individuals, connecting with invaluable support networks like family and friends can be too painful, as it may bring up too many difficult memories.

On top of the pain of losing a loved one, car accident survivors must also confront car accident-related anxieties. Whether it is anxiety related to survivor’s guilt, financial strain, situational triggers, or self-isolation, car accident survivors should know that they are not alone. Reaching out to car accident lawyers, mental health professionals, and support systems is important for assistance. Working through car accident-related anxieties can be difficult, but car accident survivors are not in it alone.  With the right assistance, car accident survivors can move forward and start to heal from car accident trauma.

If you have been in a Car Accident and suffer from Serious Anxiety our Car Accident Lawyers can help.

Anxiety is a serious condition which affects over 3 million people in Canada. It can mean more than just worrying and worrying excessively. For car accident survivors, car accident-related anxieties can be a major factor in their recovery. Car accident survivors often experience car accident-related anxiety in addition to the grief and loss of a loved one.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious car accident, call Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers today, toll-free, no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Hamilton / Burlington area at 905-333-8888 or fill in a contact form on our website today. Matt Lalande would be more than happy to provide you and your family a free consultation and free case evaluation regarding your pain and suffering, insurance coverage, inform you of your legal rights as a car accident victim and your options concerning your car accident-related injuries and losses. Remember, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that if we don’t win, you don’t pay.



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