Car Accident Claims: 10 Ways to Prove Your Car Accident Trauma

A quick reference for how to show evidence of a mental or emotional injury in a CTP or car accident claim – including diagnosis, medication, and other symptoms.

Get maximum compensation for your claim

A quick reference for how to show evidence of a mental or emotional injury in a CTP or car accident claim – including diagnosis, medication, and other symptoms.

Your compensation from a car accident claim can include more than the recovery for your physical injuries. The psychological trauma of a serious motor vehicle accident can cause mental and emotional damage that is equally compensable.

However, proving your psychological trauma can be more difficult when pursuing a insurance claim, compulsory third party (CTP) claim or other compensation. Mental and emotional injuries don’t appear in the same way as physiological trauma such as a broken bone, cut, scrape, or bruise would. Showing your psychological trauma to receive compensation requires a little more work and special attention to your body’s symptoms.

If you are curious about compensation for psychological trauma, consider these different ways that you can help make your case.

What happens immediately after a crash?

The aftermath of a motor vehicle incident can be terrifying for any involved parties. It's not uncommon to feel confused or overwhelmed in the moment, and it may be difficult to remember how best to handle the situation.

Even if you don't feel hurt right away, medical attention following motor vehicle accidents can help to record any physical injuries or mental conditions that may arise in the future. It's also beneficial as a starting point for your psychological therapy. Don't hesitate to seek out professional medical treatment and care!

What are the symptoms of emotional shock after a motor vehicle accident?

After a collision in the road you may have physical and emotional symptoms associated with a traumatic event. These can be quickly followed or may be worse, like feeling elevated agitation. The following symptoms are often reported following a car accident:

  1. Experience anxiety or depression
  2. Panic attacks
  3. Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  4. Changes in appetite or eating habits
  5. Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  6. Feelings of guilt, remorse, and helplessness
  7. Irritability, mental distress and emotional distress
  8. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

How long does shock last after a car accident?

According to studies, the psychological repercussions of an accident can range from a few hours up until two months after. Normally these emotions subside following this time period; however some people suffer with anxiety, depression or mental disorders for approximately three weeks afterwards. Shockingly, studies have revealed that 12% still experience stress responses even twelve months later– which demonstrates just how profoundly accidents affect individuals on both a short and long-term basis!

10 Ways to Prove Your Psychological Trauma

1. Witnesses, Photos, and Videos

If you have witnesses such as a passenger or bystander to the accident, they can provide testimony as to the psychological trauma that you experienced. If there are photos or videos of the accident, such as the damage to your vehicle, these can be used to show the trauma after a car crash that you experienced. This can be particularly helpful if the accident was severe and you were visibly shaken up by it.

2. Get a Copy of the Police Report

If the police were called to the scene of the road accident, be sure to get a copy of the police report. This report can contain valuable information about what happened, details of the other driver and who was at fault.

3. Medical Records Showing a Doctor’s Diagnosis

The most concrete way to prove psychological trauma after a car accident is having a qualified doctor confirm the trauma through an official diagnosis or other clinical notes. Psychological trauma often results in one or more health conditions (e.g., PTSD, insomnia, OCD, depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, etc.).

You should seek a medical treatment from a mental health professional if you notice changes in your mood, emotional state, thoughts, and other feelings after a serious car accident. Your doctor’s diagnosis for conditions related to psychological trauma can become evidence that justifies the need for compensation.

4. Evidence of Treatment for your Mental health

Your use of medication to treat symptoms linked to trauma following a car accident can also be good evidence for claiming compensation. Relevant medication might include the use of anti-depressants, sleeping pills, or other prescriptions.

5. Voluntary and Involuntary Changes to Your Lifestyle

Like physician-prescribed medication, any changes you make to your lifestyle because of the trauma are important. In the case of car accidents, this could be avoiding cars as a form of transportation. Other choices to address your car accident trauma might include abstaining from alcohol, avoiding loud places, changing your work, or other actions to improve your emotional state.

6. Document Symptoms of Your Psychological Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

You can also create a record of your emotional and mental trauma by making notes of symptoms in a journal or log during your daily life. Take note of what the symptom is, when it happens, where it happens, and how often it happens. Being able to recall your symptoms is useful for obtaining a medical diagnosis and showcasing the severity of your trauma after a motor vehicle accident.

7. Show that you have suffered financial losses as a result of your car accident trauma

Another way to prove psychological trauma is to show that you have suffered financial losses as a result. You can do this by providing documentation of lost wages, medical bills, therapy costs, or counselling fees. Showing that you have been financially affected in some way by the trauma can help prove your claim for compensation.

If the accident has caused you to miss work or perform poorly at work, you should get a letter from your employer. This letter can be used to show how the accident has impacted your ability to earn an income.

By providing evidence of your psychological trauma, you can be compensated for the suffering that you have endured. Not only will this provide financial security while you recover from your psychological trauma, but it may also help to provide closure and aid in your healing process. If you have experienced psychological trauma after a car accident, consider speaking with a lawyer or qualified professional to explore your options further.

8. Demonstrate that you are no longer able to participate in activities that you used to enjoy

Another way to prove psychological trauma is to demonstrate that you are no longer able to participate in activities that you used to enjoy. This could include hobbies, recreational activities, sports, or any other pastime that has been negatively affected due to your psychological trauma. For example, if you used to love going on bike rides with friends but now find yourself too anxious to do so, this can be used as evidence of psychological trauma. Keeping a record of activities that you used to enjoy and now find difficult or impossible due to your trauma can be extremely helpful for proving your claim for compensation.

9. Observations from Friends, Family, Coworkers, and Others

You can also rely on statements from those who can account for changes in your mental and emotional state from before and after the car accident. This includes relationships with family, friends, coworkers, and others who may notice differences in your behaviour or mood.

10. Hire a lawyer

If you want to pursue a claim for psychological trauma, it is important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process, deal with the insurance company and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Tips for reducing stress and anxiety about getting behind the wheel again

If you've been injured or traumatised in a car crash, it's completely normal to feel anxious about getting behind the wheel again. The emotional distress and mental stress may increase your chances of being involved in another car crash. To ease this tension, seeking counselling or therapy is often necessary; however, there are many simple ways that can be done on-the-spot which will also help alleviate these feelings while driving and help you on your road to recovery.

1. Prepare ahead of time

Before getting behind the wheel, make sure that you plan out your route in advance and familiarise yourself with traffic patterns in the area. This will help reduce stress, fear, and anxiety by providing a sense of control over your journey. Making sure you have enough sleep will also make a big difference.

2. Listen to calming music

Playing soothing music or nature sounds can help create a calming atmosphere in the car which can help to reduce stress, fear, and anxiety.

3. Pay attention to your breathing

Taking deep breaths or practicing meditation can be an effective way of managing stress, fear, and anxiety while driving.

4. Stay focused on the task at hand

Staying focused on the task of driving is key to staying safe and reducing stress. Instead of worrying about the accident, think about other things like what you plan to do when you reach your destination.

5. Take short breaks

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or anxious while driving, it is important to take a break and gather yourself before continuing. Taking frequent stops can help reduce stress and allow you to refresh and reset.

6. Seek help from mental healthcare professionals

If you find that your anxiety is too overwhelming to handle on your own, it may be helpful to seek professional help from a mental health provider. They can provide additional coping strategies and tools for managing stress, fear, and anxiety in the car.

Schedule a Free Consultation with State Law Group

State Law Group is a full-service law firm that focuses on helping people in New South Wales and Queensland receive compensation for injuries and trauma after a car collision and other accidents. The firm is led by Andrew Le, who has been an accredited specialist in personal injury law since 2016.

You can consult one of our lawyers with offices in Cabramatta, Sydney, Liverpool, and several other convenient locations to discuss a CTP or compensation claim and how to best prepare for several factors of a successful claim including the insurance company. Do not hesitate to schedule a consultation if English is not your primary language – we have lawyers who are fluent in Arabic, Assyrian, Chaldean, Greek, Hindi, Thai and Vietnamese.

Contact State Law Group today for further information and to schedule a free consultation for your personal injury claim.