Can You Claim for Trauma from a Car Accident?

January 23, 2024

Experiencing a car accident can be a traumatic event, and the emotional aftermath can sometimes be just as challenging as the physical injuries. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the possibility of making a claim for trauma resulting from a car accident. We'll delve into the process, eligibility criteria, and the important factors to consider when pursuing such claims.

Trauma Claims After Car Accidents

Trauma claims, often referred to as emotional distress claims, arise from the psychological suffering that someone might endure following a car accident. Those who make these types of insurance claims generally hope for their mental anguish, anxiety, or trauma to be officially recognised by the at-fault party, and usually seek some form of financial compensation - especially if their trauma impacts their ability to work. It’s important to note that trauma can manifest in various forms, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, depression, phobias, and panic disorders.

Types of Trauma Claims After Car Accidents

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a common psychological condition that can develop after a traumatic event, such as a severe car accident; symptoms may include distressing flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and emotional distress.

Anxiety and Depression

Many car accident survivors experience heightened levels of anxiety and depression due to the emotional toll of the incident, and this can significantly impact both their daily life and interpersonal relationships.

Phobias and Panic Disorders

Car accidents can lead to the development of specific phobias, such as a fear of driving or being in a car. Additionally, panic disorders may emerge, causing sudden and intense episodes of fear and anxiety.

Documentation and Evidence for Trauma Claims

If you’re considering making a trauma claim after a car accident, it's essential to gather appropriate documentation and evidence to support your case. Here are some crucial steps to follow:

  • Medical Records: Obtain copies of your medical records that detail any psychological diagnoses, treatments, and medications related to the trauma.
  • Therapist and Counselor Reports: Statements from doctors and mental health professionals who have treated you can provide valuable evidence of your emotional distress and the impact it has had on your life.
  • Witness Statements: If there were witnesses to the accident or individuals who have observed your emotional suffering in the aftermath, their statements can bolster your claim.
  • Personal Diary: Keeping a personal journal documenting your emotional state and the day-to-day impact of the accident on your life can serve as compelling evidence of your trauma, although this will count less than official NHS documents (or documents from another established medical provider).

Filing a Trauma Claim After Car Accident

Wooden Blocks with the text: Trauma

The process of filing a trauma claim typically involves several key steps:


Seeking legal advice from an experienced personal injury solicitor who specialises in car accident cases is always a good idea when seeking financial compensation in non-fault claims. They can assess the merits of your claim and provide guidance on the best course of action.

Gathering Evidence

Collaborate with your solicitor to compile the necessary evidence, documents, and statements to substantiate your claim.


Your solicitor will engage in negotiations with the at-fault party's insurance company to reach a settlement that fairly compensates you for your emotional distress.


In some cases, if a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your solicitor may recommend pursuing litigation to secure the compensation you deserve.

Factors Influencing Trauma Claim Outcomes

Several factors can significantly influence the outcome of your trauma claim:

  • Evidence: The strength and quality of the evidence you present play a critical role in the success of your claim - the more documents you have to prove your case, the more likely you are to be successful.
  • Severity of Trauma: The severity of your trauma and its impact on your life will be considered when determining the compensation amount - for example, if you were a professional driver and you now have a phobia of driving a vehicle, your claim is more likely to be successful.
  • Liability: Establishing the liability of the at-fault party is crucial in determining the responsible party for your trauma and its related costs.

Legal Assistance and Support

Seeking legal assistance is highly recommended when pursuing a trauma claim. An experienced personal injury solicitor can provide invaluable support by:

  • Assessing Eligibility: Determining whether your trauma claim is valid and worth pursuing.
  • Maximising Compensation: Working tirelessly to secure the highest possible compensation for the emotional distress you've endured.
  • Handling Legal Procedures: Managing the complex legal processes, negotiations, and, if necessary, litigation on your behalf.

Ethical and Emotional Considerations

While pursuing a trauma claim is your legal right, it's essential to consider the ethical and emotional aspects of the process. Understand that it may require revisiting the traumatic incident, engaging in challenging discussions, and reliving distressing memories.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, claiming compensation for trauma resulting from a car accident is a legitimate process that recognises the psychological impact of such events. By seeking legal assistance, gathering compelling evidence, and considering the emotional aspects, you can navigate the process effectively and work towards obtaining the compensation you deserve for the trauma you've endured. For more information on the PTSD claim process, feel free to reach out to us at RTA Claims for an expert consultation.