Can A Car Accident Cause Depression?

Car accidents can cause long-term stress that can eventually lead to depression.

According to WebMD Health News, a car accident can cause depression. Like other types of traumatic or stressful events, car accidents can cause long-term stress that affects work and relationships. Eventually, this anxiety can lead to depression.

Even a minor auto accident can cause depression, persistent anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A study by British researchers referenced by WebMD suggested that at least one-third of all people involved in nonfatal accidents have symptoms of psychiatric distress one year after the incident. This included many people who were not seriously injured and-or disabled in the accident.

Depression is a mood disorder that involves the mind and body and affects the way a person feels, thinks and behaves. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The Mayo Clinic identified the following as some of the more common signs of depression following a car accident:

  • Constant feelings of sadness, unhappiness, and emptiness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities, including ones that were once enjoyed
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite
  • Trouble sleeping nearly every day.
  • Agitation or restlessness.
  • Fatigue, tiredness or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
  • Trouble making decisions, thinking or concentrating.
  • Frequent suicidal thoughts or thinking about death

The symptoms of depression can vary from person to person. A physical exam, lab tests, and a psychological evaluation can help determine whether the victim of an auto accident has suffered depression as a result of the crash. To be diagnosed with major depression, the Mayo Clinic explains that symptoms “must be severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others.”

To facilitate recovery from depression and the trauma of an accident, an individual needs to recognize that there is a problem and get help. Treatment may include anxiety management, breathing and relaxation exercises, and-or medication.

Approximately every 10 seconds someone in the U.S. is injured in a motor vehicle accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Every 12 minutes someone dies in a motor vehicle crash and every 5 seconds a car accident occurs.

Individuals can pursue compensation for depression after a car accident caused by another person’s negligence. Whether the accident was a fender bender or fatal crash, car accidents can cause mental, emotional, financial and physical stress, any of which can help trigger serious depression.

For over 40 years, David H. Perecman has distinguished himself as one of the leading personal injury lawyers in New York City, championing all types of personal injury cases including construction accidents, premises accidents, automobile accidents, and medical malpractice, along with employment discrimination, false arrest, and civil rights cases.