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Is It Normal to Feel Paranoid after a Car Accident?


Whether it’s fear, shock, anger, or paranoia, the emotions you are feeling after a car accident are normal. Here’s what to expect and when it may be time to seek medical help.

When it comes to car accident injuries, most people think about the physical trauma that the impact leaves on the body. However, a car crash can also have a strong psychological effect on your mind. Often, victims of car accidents are in shock, but that’s not the only strong emotion one might feel. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, auto accidents are the most common cause of mental trauma for men and the second cause for women. 

Whether it’s fear, shock, anger, or paranoia, the emotions you are feeling after a car accident are normal. Here’s what to expect and when it may be time to seek medical help. 

st louis car accident emotional injuries

What to Expect After a Car Accident from a Psychological Perspective

Here are some of the most common symptoms you may experience after a car crash: 

  • Shock: Perhaps the most common emotion people feel after a car accident is shock. For some people, it may manifest as disbelief that something like this has happened to them. Others freeze and become numb while some victims continue feeling scared and anxious even after they are out of harm’s way.
  • Anger: It’s not uncommon to feel angry after a car accident, especially if the incident wasn’t your fault. Anger can also mask more intense feelings like fear or guilt. 
  • Guilt: You may also experience a feeling of profound guilt or shame, especially if you think that the accident was your fault or that you could have avoided.

Is It Normal to Feel This Way?

The human mind is a complex organism where everything has its place and purpose. A traumatic event such as a car crash can cause a disturbance in this perfect order. When that happens, your brain will start releasing the stress hormone cortisol to let the body know that it should prepare for a “fight.” Your body is not able to sustain this state for a long time, so it will calm itself within a few hours or days.

In other words, it is normal to feel angry, shocked, anxious, or even paranoid after a car crash. It’s how your body is handling and processing this traumatic event. However, if this state lingers for a few months, then it’s time to see a mental health specialist and rule out a possible PTSD diagnosis. 

Can I Receive Compensation for My Emotional Suffering?

Your compensation should account not only for your physical injuries but your emotional trauma too. The psychological effects of a car crash may not be visible right away, but they can impact your life severely and hinder your ability to function normally. 

If you want to get the full amount of compensation you are legally entitled to for your pain and suffering, speak with an experienced St. Louis auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. They will know how to analyze the details of your case and determine a fair settlement that will help you get back on your feet.

Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

Updated: November 16, 2020