What You Need to Know About Post-Accident Shock

by Staff Blogger | October 21st, 2019

There are two types of shock that can occur after accidents and physical injuries—physical shock and psychological shock. Whether they’re high speed, head-on collisions or relatively minor fender-benders, car accidents have the potential to cause both types of shock.

People who suffer from either type of post-accident shock often need multi-faceted treatments to help them recover. In addition, it’s not uncommon for victims of car accidents to suffer from either or both types of shock, especially after crashes that weren’t their fault.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California auto accident attorneys take into consideration victims’ physical and mental health after crashes caused by others’ negligence. Then, we do everything in our power to help them get maximum compensation for their accident-related expenses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If you were hurt in a crash that was caused by a negligent driver, we want to speak with you. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re ready to put our experience to work for you.

Types of Physical Shock

Physical shock can become apparent in the minutes, hours, or days after an auto accident. Victims often experience serious symptoms that can impair their quality of life and even become life-threatening.

Types of physical shock that can occur after auto accidents include:

  • Hypovolemic shock—This type of shock occurs when victims suffer significant blood loss resulting in a rapid and severe reduction in blood pressure. The reduced blood volume and blood pressure make it difficult for the heart to pump blood throughout the body, including to vital organs. Hypovolemia can be caused by external and internal bleeding, as well as burns.
  • Neurogenic shock—This type of shock occurs when victims experience spinal cord injuries. When the spine is damaged, it can affect the sympathetic nervous system, which controls essential functions like the heartbeat and breathing. Victims who experience neurogenic shock may suffer from rapid losses of blood pressure and reduced oxygenation.
  • Cardiogenic shock—This type of shock occurs when victims experience damage to their hearts. Although it’s commonly associated with heart attacks, it can also occur during accidents and injuries, especially in people with weakened hearts or who are at risk of cardiac events. Victims who experience cardiogenic shock have reduced blood flow throughout their bodies.
  • Septic shock—Although rare, this type of shock can occur when victims’ wounds become infected after a serious, injury-causing accident. Victims who experience septic shock may be at risk of severe complications, and they require treatment via antibiotics and fluids.

Symptoms of physical shock are varied and depend on the type of shock victims experience. However, there are a few common symptoms, including:

  • Irregular heartbeat and rapid pulse
  • Rapid and shallow breathing
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Confusion and anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting

Because shock can be life-threatening and may not be immediately apparent after a crash, it’s vital for victims to get medical treatment right away.

Types of Psychological Shock

Psychological shock often overlaps with and may be classified as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can result in symptoms that may persist for weeks, months, years, or decades. Some patients may even struggle with PTSD for the rest of their lives.

Common symptoms of PTSD after auto accidents include:

  • Intrusive thoughts and worries about the accident and future accidents
  • Irritability and anger
  • Fear of driving or riding in a vehicle
  • Depression and anxiety

PTSD can be difficult to treat, especially in comparison to physical shock, which can be monitored via laboratory tests, imaging, and pain scales. People with PTSD and other types of psychological shock often need time to heal, including intervention from behavioral and cognitive therapists.

How We Can Help Post-Accident Shock Victims

The aftermath of an auto accident can be a challenging time for victims and their families. In addition to suffering from serious and often painful injuries, they may experience complications due to those injuries that can significantly impact their daily lives.

In addition, psychological shock can even result in victims making mistakes that could jeopardize their claims, such as admitting fault for crashes they didn’t cause. That’s why getting a lawyer right away is so important.

If you or someone you love was recently injured in an auto accident that wasn’t your fault, you may have a long path to making a full physical recovery, and you may be suffering from psychological symptoms that are consistent with PTSD. You deserve compensation for what you’ve gone through, but the insurance company is more interested in protecting its profits than paying you and your loved ones the money you deserve.

Having an experienced California auto accident lawyer on your side can make a big difference in your chances of getting maximum compensation. The legal team at Berg Injury Lawyers knows how to build strong claims and present evidence in a manner that insurance companies simply can’t ignore. Don’t leave your physical, psychological, and financial recovery up to chance. Contact us today, and let us put our resources, our determination, and our track record of success to work for your family.