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Depression in Children After a Car Accident

There is nothing more frightening for a parent than finding out your child has been in a car accident.

If you have ever been in this horrible position, you know that your mind immediately races to the worse case scenarios. You wonder if your child has any broken bones or organ damage, whether they have a concussion or other brain trauma, or if they could have experienced whiplash or some other type of injury.

If you lucky enough that your child was either physically unharmed or suffered only minor physical injury, you are going to breathe a welcomed sigh of relief.

Depression After Trauma

While it is great news that your child was not seriously injured, there is a hidden injury that could be lurking just under the surface. Following a traumatic experience like a car accident, many children suffer depression, which is not only potentially quite serious, it can also be difficult to recognize and treat.

Symptoms of depression in children can develop weeks or even months after a traumatic even like a car accident. It is estimated that up to 25 percent of children involved in car accidents develop symptoms of depression at some point after the accident.

Whether and to what extent your child will develop depression or some other psychological disorder, such as post traumatic stress disorder, depends on a lot of factors. While children with past episodes of depression are at a higher risk for developing depression again, even children with no depression history could be prone to developing the disorder after an accident.

Because of this unpredictability, it is a good idea to have your child undergo a psychological evaluation following the car accident and then keep an eye out for any signs of depression or other emotional or psychological illnesses or disorders.

Symptoms of Depression in Children

Some symptoms of depression are noticeable, while others are harder to discern. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your children following a car accident, you may be observing the onset of depression, and it is advisable to seek the advice of a mental health professional:

  • Unusual or increased irritability
  • Excessive crying
  • Expressions of anger
  • Expressions of guilt
  • Feeling misunderstood
  • Avoiding social activities with friends and family
  • Loss of interest in things of former interest
  • Academic problems
  • Change in sleep habits or problems sleeping
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Unexplained physical complaints

How a Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

A personal injury attorney with experience in car accidents is in the best position to advise you on whether you are in a position to seek damages for any physical or emotional injuries your child experiences as a result of the accident. There are time limits for filing claims as well as other factors to take into account in determining whether you have a case for recovery, and a Colorado Springs car accident lawyer can answer all your questions and help you decide what to do.

Contact Levine Law for a free case evaluation, either by phone at 719-471-3000 or visit us online. 

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