Car accident victims suffer from more than broken bones

On behalf of Morris J. Newman, Esq.

In the wake of Tracy Morgan’s first public appearance since his devastating accident a year ago, a discussion about PTSD and emotional trauma.

Being in a serious car accident is frightening. Your life is truly at risk. That kind of experience can leave a mark greater than just physical injuries. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, as many as 30 percent of car accident victims suffer from long-lasting emotional and psychological symptoms, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety, after being in a car crash. Traumatic brain injuries, which are devastating in their own right, can also worsen psychological and emotional difficulties in the wake of an accident.

Tracy Morgan, to his credit, addressed these issues on June 1, in his first public appearance since a deadly accident on a New Jersey turnpike over one year ago that resulted in the death of a close friend. "I've been down," Mr. Morgan admitted about the past year. "Bones heal, and the loss of my friend will never heal," the tearful Mr. Morgan told Matt Lauer of the Today show. It isn't that broken bone injuries are not devastating - Mr. Morgan is still recovering from his physical injuries over a year later - but psychological injuries can be hard to treat and may take even longer to overcome.

Fortunately, Mr. Morgan has his family to rely on, which has helped him in recovery. He also indicated he was relieved that the wrongful death case against Wal-Mart recently settled, and that the family of Jimmy "Mack" McNair, who died in the crash, has had their financial needs met after the loss of their father. Police charged the driver of the Wal-Mart truck with vehicular homicide after the incident, although the criminal case has yet to be resolved. According to a police report, the driver had not slept at all in the 24 hours that preceded the crash.

Recovering from emotional and psychological impacts

Recovering from any kind of serious injury is incredibly difficult. Whether it's learning how to walk again, or learning how to laugh, recovery is a long process.

But there is hope. Therapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, can help accident victims deal with grief and trauma in the wake of an accident. A newer treatment, eye movement desensitization, can help people cope with PTSD. An extensive rehabilitation program, including sessions with a physical therapist, can help a victim recover from debilitating physical injuries.

Still, it is a long road to travel. For those who have been injured in a car accident that was not their fault, there is financial help available. A personal injury lawsuit, like the one brought by Mr. Morgan, can help to offset the cost of medical procedures and lost wages. A wrongful death lawsuit, like the one brought by the children of Mr. McNair, can help a family with finances during a very difficult time and help bring a measure of justice.

New Yorkers who have been injured in a car accident should contact the premier personal injury attorneys at Newman, Anzalone & Newman, LLP, to discuss legal options and next steps.

Keywords: Truck accident, car accident, fatal accident, wrongful death lawsuit, personal injury lawsuit.