A few years ago I had to drive to Denver for a hearing in federal court. It was cold and a little snowy, but the roads were clear. If you’ve ever had to drive to Denver from Colorado Springs, you know just past Castle Rock on I-25 there are a series of hills. As I crested one of the hills I saw break lights and lightly tapped my breaks in case I needed to stop. As soon as I touched my brakes, my car started spinning out of control. It was in that moment that I realized the seemingly clear roads were actually covered in a thin layer of ice. I tried to get control of my car, but before I could, I hit the side of a semi-truck with the front of my car. As you can imagine, it was a terrifying experience; I came within 10 feet of going under the semi. Thankfully the driver of the semi was not hurt and no other cars were involved. I was lucky too and walked away, needing only minimal treatment for my back and neck. The physical injuries are now just a memory, but what I didn’t realize was that the psychological injuries were going to stay with me. To this day, when I start to go over that hill I slow down preemptively, even in the middle of summer. That is to say nothing about how I feel driving on the interstate in the snow.

I am not alone. Many people suffer psychological injuries after a car accident, that can be even worse when there are pre-existing conditions. Even when the injuries from the accident are relatively minor, the psychological injuries can be longer lasting. These injuries are real, and should not be dismissed just because they don’t show up on an x-ray. These psychological injuries can lead to depression, strain on personal relationships, anxiety, and sleep loss.

If you get in an accident, all of your injuries may not be physical. If you decide you need a lawyer after an accident, make sure to find one who understands what you are going through and will guide you to get the help you need.

By: Craig Valentine