Psychological Response to Personal Injury

If you’ve been injured in an accident or intentional act, you understand that not all injury is physical. Emotional trauma can be as severe and debilitating as any physical injury, disrupting the lives of you and your loved ones significantly – and you can be compensated for it. If you or a loved one are experiencing a negative psychological response following injury or the witness of death in an accident, Cesar Ornelas Law can help.

What is a Negative Psychological Response?

Plenty of things cause psychological responses, or emotional reactions, in our brains. Psychological responses are how our brains react to stimuli. When you experience a harmful or physically traumatic situation, however, your brain may have a negative, unhealthy psychological response. Situations that could cause a negative psychological response include:

  • Car accidents where an individual is injured or witnesses injury or death
  • Combat-related injury
  • Premises liability injuries due to a hazardous property feature or violent crime
  • Sexual abuse
  • Medical error
  • Abuse or neglect of an elderly individual
  • Severe injury due to defective products

The psychological response triggered by these and other situations is often referred to as emotional trauma, which can be just as painful and important as any physical wound.

Common Psychological Responses After Injury

While trauma responses vary in type and severity, it’s important to recognize trauma and seek help if needed in order to heal. After sustaining or witnessing an injury, it is common to experience one or more of the following psychological responses:

  • Anger, irritability and moodiness
  • Crying easily
  • Obsessive behavior
  • Denial about the situation or one’s difficulty handling emotions from trauma
  • Emotional numbness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Disinterest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Grief
  • Guilt
  • Forgetfulness
  • Isolation and withdrawal from others
  • Sleep disturbances, including nightmares, sleeping too much or inability to sleep
  • Increased dependence on psychoactive drugs, such as alcohol
  • Questioning one’s faith or religion

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts as a result of your trauma, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 or seek help from your support system.

Psychological Conditions and Trauma

Emotional trauma places an individual at risk for developing psychological conditions, such as anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. It also leaves the individual affected vulnerable to substance abuse and can even cause memory loss. Individuals who already have a psychological condition and experience trauma are at the greatest risk.


For those coping with psychological responses and conditions due to an injury suffered from someone else’s intentional, reckless or careless act, it often feels as if nothing can help heal the trauma you experienced. However, many individuals who have undergone emotional trauma find relief through therapy, medication, family support or a combination of these. If you are struggling to cope with your trauma or are experiencing psychological conditions as a result of trauma, the first step toward healing is asking for help.

Seeking Compensation for Emotional Trauma

Just like a serious physical injury, emotional trauma can disrupt and even derail the lives of those affected by it. Psychological responses and conditions can inhibit an individual’s ability to work, maintain relationships and keep up with various other responsibilities.

That’s why the law recognizes that not all injuries suffered in an accident can be seen and provides a path to compensation for emotional injury as well as physical. In addition to being able to obtain compensation for medical and other expenses caused by the injury, individuals can also utilize a personal injury lawsuit to receive compensation for the psychological impacts of their injury.

If you or a loved one has experienced emotional trauma as a result of injury, call on the personal injury attorneys at Cesar Ornelas Law to help. Contact us today to schedule a free case review with one of our injury lawyers.


If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, please fill out the form below for your free consultation or call us at: (855) 930-1149

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