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Nashville and Middle Tennessee

Why Am I Experiencing Sleep Problems After a Car Accident?

If you’re having trouble sleeping after a crash, don’t ignore it

Car accidents can often result in physical harm and long-lasting trauma. However, it's not just the physical injuries that are a cause for concern. The emotional and psychological effects can be equally, if not more, debilitating. In some cases, crash victims can experience sleep problems after a car accident.

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    If you sustained physical and/or psychological injuries after a car accident, it’s important that you know your rights. Speaking to an experienced car accident lawyer is a good start. An attorney can protect your rights every step of the way and provide valuable legal guidance.

    Complications caused by sleep problems after a car accident

    Disturbances in sleep patterns are often left unnoticed or dismissed as temporary after a car accident. However, the impact on sleep can be profound and long-lasting. Victims of car accidents sometimes experience insomnia, where they struggle to fall or stay asleep. On the other hand, they can experience hypersomnia or excessive sleepiness.

    The disruption of normal sleep patterns can exacerbate feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress, which are already heightened in the wake of a car accident. Moreover, the lack of quality sleep can slow down the physical healing process. Restful sleep is vital for the body’s repair mechanisms.

    Additionally, poor sleep can negatively impact your immune system, cardiovascular health, and overall wellness. There's also a strong link between inadequate sleep and the development of high blood pressure, a condition that can have long-term health implications if not managed properly. If you're recovering from a car accident, you may face challenges in managing chronic pain. The lack of quality sleep can intensify the perception of pain and impact effective pain management.

    Additionally, sleep deprivation can lead to noticeable cognitive impairments. This may include:

    • Difficulties with memory
    • Challenges with recalling details
    • The inability to process new information
    • Decreased concentration levels
    • Impaired decision-making abilities

    Types of physical injuries that can disrupt sleep after a car accident

    No matter how minor your car accident may seem, it's always a good idea to get medical attention promptly. Some injuries that disrupt normal sleeping patterns can manifest days or even weeks after a car accident. This delay in symptom onset can lead to complications if not promptly identified and treated.

    Physical injuries that often cause sleep problems after a car accident include:

    • Concussions: This is a traumatic brain injury caused by impact to the head. Concussions are known to result in insomnia, hypersomnia, and altered sleep-wake cycles.
    • Whiplash: This is a neck injury caused by rapid head and neck movement. Whiplash typically occurs in rear-end collisions. The neck pain can make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. Sleep can also be disturbed by associated stress.
    • Broken bones: This is a fracture or break in a bone that ranges from minor cracks to complete breaks. The pain and discomfort from broken bones can hinder comfortable sleep.
    • Soft tissue injuries: These are injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Soft tissue injuries can make it difficult to relax and sleep comfortably. In some cases, pain can worsen during sleep.

    How the psychologic impact of a car accident can impact sleep

    The psychological impact of a car accident can manifest through various mental health conditions. These typically include:

    • PTSD: Post-car accident PTSD is often marked by flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety. These symptoms induce fear of sleeping and hyperarousal. This can cause difficulty in falling and staying asleep and lead to fragmented and non-restorative sleep.
    • Anxiety: Post-accident anxiety can relate to health concerns, financial worries, and driving fears. This often leads to insomnia and disrupted sleep.
    • Depression: Post-car accident depression often includes persistent sadness, disinterest, and hopelessness. It can disrupt sleep patterns by leading to insomnia, hypersomnia, and extended bed rest without restorative sleep.
    • Phobias: Post-accident phobias include fear of driving. This can heighten anxiety, especially when reminded of the trauma. This disrupts relaxation and causes insomnia and irregular sleep patterns.

    Diagnosing and treating sleep problems after a car accident

    The diagnosis and treatment of a crash-related sleep disturbance depends on the type of injury you’re dealing with. If a physical injury is causing your sleep problems, a doctor will likely perform an initial assessment. This involves evaluating areas of pain, visible injuries, range of motion, and physical functionality. A doctor may also conduct imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans to pinpoint the location of the injury.

    Treatment for physical injuries often include pain medication, physical therapy, ice and heat application, and in some cases, surgery.

    Treating PTSD, anxiety, and other crash-related psychological impacts differ from that of physical injuries. The most common treatments for psychological injuries include:

    • Cognitive behavioral therapy: This helps individuals modify thoughts and behaviors that negatively impact sleep, replacing them with habits conducive to healthy sleep patterns.
    • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: This is used treat PTSD by using bilateral stimulation, recall and desensitization, and reprocessing.
    • Prescription medications: This often includes anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants.
    • Stress reduction techniques: This may include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation to reduce the stress and anxiety

    Prompt diagnosis and treatment of sleep problems after a car accident helps speed up recovery. It also helps prevent the development of chronic conditions that can impact your sleep patterns.

    Can I recover financial compensation for sleep problems after a crash?

    The damages you can recover for crash-related sleep problems depend on the nature of your injury and the impact it has on your life. For example, a physical or psychological injury, or your inability to sleep, could impact your personal life and ability to work. Whether your injuries are physical or psychological, you could be eligible for:

    • Current and future medical expenses.
    • Physical and occupational therapy.
    • Mental and emotional therapy.
    • Lost wages and future earning capacity.
    • Physical pain and emotional distress linked to your car accident.
    • Loss of consortium.
    • Reduced quality of life.

    An experienced car accident lawyer will need to accurately determine the value of your claim. This includes adding up your economic damages and calculating your non-economic damages.

    What can an attorney do for me if I was hurt in a car accident?

    An attorney can help establish a clear link between the accident and the resulting sleep problems. While sleep problems after a car accident can be difficult to prove, your attorney can use medical documentation to prove the validity of your condition.

    They’ll gather key evidence to prove liability. That includes police reports, crash scene photos, witness statements, video footage, cellphone records, and possibly a testimony from a crash reconstruction expert.

    Once your attorney has determined your claim’s value and gathered evidence from the crash scene, they’ll negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement. It’s important to be patient and only accept a settlement that covers the full extent of your damages. Even when insurance companies try to offer lowball settlements, an attorney can negotiate for a higher amount.

    If your attorney can’t reach a settlement, they may take your case to trial and fight for a maximum court award on your behalf.

    You can help your attorney by keeping all copies of medical records, receipts, hospital bills, prescriptions, doctor’s notes, and appointment logs. You should also retain pay stubs, car repair bills, and other documentation that proves your injuries.

    Contact a Nashville car accident lawyer

    When you’re suffering from sleep problems after a car accident, a lowball settlement simply won’t cut it. No matter how much the insurance companies try to push you around, you deserve the best possible outcome for your case.

    At the Law Office Of Eric Beasley in Nashville, we will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the justice and financial compensation you deserve. We’ll handle all legal hurdles, paperwork, and communications and negotiations with insurance companies. With us on your side, you only have to focus on your recovery.

    Take the next step toward justice. Contact our law firm online or call one of our law offices in Nashville or Goodlettsville to schedule a free consultation. We’ll provide you with honest answers to any questions you have and help you explore the next steps for pursuing full compensation.

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