The emotional effect of drunk driving accidents can take many forms. Some of the most common consequences that people hit by drunk drivers experience after a crash include:
A drunk driving accident can cause people to experience intense grief, whether the accident involved them or a loved one. A person who suffers severe disabilities or disfigurement in a drunk driving crash may experience grief over the loss of physical abilities or permanent changes in appearance caused by disabilities or disfigurement. Alternatively, a person may grieve for a loved one who has suffered severe or fatal injuries due to a drunk driver.
A violent car crash, including one caused by a drunk driver, may cause crash victims to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the American Psychiatric Association, people experiencing PTSD after a drunk driving accident may develop the following:
- Ongoing irritability
- Memory or concentration problems
- Emotional numbness
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden and extreme emotional breakdowns
Exposure to stimuli that remind a person of the crash, such as getting into a vehicle, passing by the spot where the crash occurred, or reading stories about other drunk driving accidents, can trigger flashbacks of the event or other strong emotional responses.
Crash victims may experience an emotional response called survivor’s guilt when another victim dies in a drunk driving accident. Survivor’s guilt may occur when a person feels guilty about surviving a car accident when others died. Survivors sometimes blame themselves for another person’s death in the accident.
Suffering severe injuries in a drunk driving crash or experiencing PTSD can cause accident victims to become depressed. Furthermore, temporary or permanent physical disabilities that prevent crash victims from performing daily tasks or participating in activities they previously enjoyed can bring on severe depression. The stress of an extended medical recovery process can also cause them to feel depressed.
Getting into a car crash with a drunk driver may cause people to develop anxiety over driving, riding in a vehicle, or going out in public. Drunk driving accident victims may develop fears of getting into another auto accident and might refuse to drive or go out.
Alternatively, people may feel anxiety when they have an uncertain prognosis for their accident injuries. Crash victims may become severely worried about whether they will fully recover from their injuries to return to work or participate in activities they enjoy or whether their injuries may leave them with permanent disabilities or disfigurement.
Contact a Compassionate Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Our firm works tirelessly to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents and support those who have suffered injuries, including through our collaborations with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). An experienced attorney can help drunk driving accident victims pursue accountability and justice from the intoxicated driver at fault for the crash and their injuries.