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Can car accident victims recover for emotional trauma?

Readers may recall the truck accident last summer that critically injured actor Tracy Morgan and took the life of one of his friends. The star recently spoke with the media about his injuries and struggle to overcome the emotional trauma from losing a close friend. His account is a good reminder that personal injuries in the wake of a motor vehicle accident may also include emotional trauma and/or psychological conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, severe depression, anxiety disorder or other conditions.

The actor’s account is not uncommon among motor vehicle accident survivors. According to one researcher, nearly one-third of people involved in a car crash may develop depression, anxiety or PTSD. Notably, mental conditions may also accompany physical conditions, especially in the case of traumatic brain injury. Considering the number of car accidents each year in the United States -- data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put the number at around 2.3 million annually -- a sizable number of Americans may be struggling with their post-accident injuries and mental condition.

Our firm focuses on personal injury lawsuits, helping victims of negligent driving pursue the compensation they need to start rebuilding their lives. As this story illustrates, the recuperation after a car accident may require more than just the healing of bones or tissues. Lingering emotional or psychological trauma may require therapy or other treatments. Of course, without a successful civil lawsuit, many accident victims may lack the insurance coverage or surplus funds to cover numerous therapy sessions. 

Worse yet, an accident victim may not realize that such lingering damage should be included in any damages request. An attorney who has extensive experience in and out of the courtroom can proactively address this issue.

Source: Live Science, "Tracy Morgan Car Accident: Crashes Leave Many with Emotional Scars," Tia Ghose, June 2, 2015

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