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Psychological Impact of Sustaining a Major Personal Injury

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Being involved in an accident and sustaining an injury can be a very difficult time. The pain, medical bills, and loss of earnings can all seriously affect you physically and financially. Whilst any injury and the necessary treatment obviously take their toll, the psychological impact of a personal injury are often overlooked. Sustaining a major personal injury can be extremely traumatic and dramatically affect your mental and emotional health. 

With tens of thousands of incidents of personal injury occurring every year, this is becoming a huge issue. It is vital to understand the consequences in order to address them effectively. To help everyone who has been involved in an incident that has left them physically and mentally hurt, this article is a guide to the psychological impact of sustaining a major personal injury.


A major personal injury, whether sustained in a car accident or a fall at work, can cause an enormous amount of trauma. Whilst physical injuries are obvious to see, mental and emotional scars are far more difficult to identify but can have just as big an impact on your life as a broken arm or leg. It is important when you are claiming any compensation following an accident that your personal injury lawyer effectively explains the level of your trauma to the court. Compensation is awarded for both economic damages (medical bills and vehicle repairs) and non-economic damages (trauma and long-term disability), so in order to get the money you need to get over your accident, it is vital that the court understands the extent of your psychological injuries.

Loss of confidence

Losing confidence is a very common effect of sustaining a major personal injury because they usually occur whilst doing a common everyday task such as driving a car or performing your work duties. After being seriously hurt doing something like this, it can really affect your ability to continue doing it. For example, many people who have been involved in a big car crash are very scared to get back behind the wheel again. This means that the incident has a negative impact on their life which far surpasses the effect of their physical injuries as they are no longer able to live as before.


With the physical pain and injury, trauma, and loss of confidence that all result from a major personal injury, victims often find themselves feeling depressed or with symptoms of PTSD. Whilst clinical depression comes from an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, the level of these chemicals is directly affected by external factors, and being hurt in a dramatic accident or facing a future of disability or financial difficulties as the result of an incident of personal injury, can all trigger the onset of crippling depression. It is so important to seek help early if you feel any symptoms of depression as the earlier the treatment, the more effective the

All of the different effects of a major injury can be incredibly difficult to live with, but the psychological impacts are some of the hardest. Trauma, depression, and a lack of confidence can have a real effect on your life and happiness and so it is really important to seek help. Remember that there are many professionals, as well as your loved ones around you, who you can reach out to when you are struggling.

Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.

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