Personal injury accidents can bring about not only physical injuries but also psychological and emotional ones. The psychological impact of a personal injury should not be undermined, as enduring one can have long-lasting and life-altering implications. Whether you were injured in a car accident or suffered a dog bite, the invisible wounds can be difficult to cope with. Let’s explore some common psychological effects that an individual may endure after suffering a personal injury. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a psychological condition that is commonly experienced following a traumatic event. Individuals with PTSD may experience severe anxiety and unnerving nightmares and flashbacks of the event. In extreme cases, PTSD can begin to interfere and affect the day-to-day life of an individual. Fortunately, there are various treatments, such as prescription medication and exposure therapy, that can be used to help limit the adverse effects. PTSD symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Insomnia
  • Difficulting concentrating 
  • Irritability 
  • Hyperarousal 
  • Intense feelings of guilt
  • Avoidance
  • Vivid flashbacks  
  • Detachment


Another psychological effect that may result from a personal injury is phobias. A phobia is an irrational fear that an individual develops usually following a traumatizing event. For example, if an individual was injured in a car accident, they may develop a phobia of driving or even getting into a car. Another example would be if an individual was bitten by a dog. This may cause the person to be very fearful of dogs, and may even be triggered by the sound of their bark. This fearfulness that was inflicted by the traumatic injury may also cause individuals to develop avoidance behaviors towards these newfound phobias.


Anxiety is another type of psychological disorder that may result from a personal injury accident. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most commonly experienced anxiety disorder and is commonly associated with traumatic events. Anxiety makes individuals feel very on edge and worrisome about things they are often times out of their control. Specific triggers associated with the accident often cause an individual to experience this anxiety. 


Depression is another type of psychological effect that of suffering a personal injury. Also known as major depressive disorder, depression is a mood disorder that causes intense and persistent feelings of sadness. For many individuals, the symptoms of depression may start to become visible, as you have a loss of interest in daily activities, a lack of energy, suicidal thoughts, and decreased appetite. Depression can make everyday feel burdensome. 

Can You Recover Compensation For Your Psychological Injuries?

It may be possible to recover compensation for the psychological injuries that you suffered as a result of your accident. The laws regarding psychological damages often vary from state to state, which is why contacting a lawyer may be a worthy avenue to pursue. However, in recovering compensation for your psychological injuries, a causation must be established between your accident and your psychological injury. It is important to note that proving a psychological injury is often more difficult, as these injuries are not always visible. 

Steps Towards Recovery

The psychological effects of a personal injury can be overwhelming and difficult to cope with. In order to help alleviate some stress and pain from the recovery process, there are two important steps you can take. The first is to reach out to a licensed therapist who can be there to listen and walk you through the stages of recovery. A therapist can provide you with healthy coping mechanisms to help get you through this difficult time. The second step to take is to speak with a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer about what your legal options are regarding your personal injury case. A lawyer can alleviate the stress of the legal process and can help you recover the compensation you may be entitled to. Recovering compensation for your injuries can also decrease any financial stress that was inflicted by the accident.