Visitor Question

My son wasn’t hurt but is traumatized from the accident…

Submitted By: M (VA)

I was involved in a rear end collision were the driver ran into the back of us at about 40 MPH. After he hit us he ran, so it was a hit and run. My wife and I wife sought treatment, but my son wasn’t in any pain. He is traumatized from the accident however.

Every time we are in the car he gets nervous and scared. It’s even worse when we have to get off an exit to get on the highway. When we have to accelerate he starts panicking, saying “Slow down!” We have to explain to him that we have to accelerate on the highway.

Is this something I can get compensated for from my insurance company? If this behavior continues, will they pay to send him to treatment? I’d hate to think he will be paranoid for the rest of his life whenever he rides in a car. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear M,

It is rare for insurance companies to pay compensation for psychological injuries arising out of a car accident.

To have any chance of convincing the insurance company to compensate your son for his psychological maladies, you will need medical support from a psychologist or psychiatrist who can directly link the car accident to your son’s psychological problems.

Moreover, the psychiatrist or psychologist will have to convince the insurance company your son’s psychological injuries will last for a sufficient amount of time into the future. How far into the future is arguable.

Before considering an insurance claim, you and your son would be best served by consulting with a psychiatrist or psychologist to see if your son’s problems can be directly linked to the accident, and if so, how serious and long-lasting the effects will be.

If you can find doctors who will support these two important issues, your next step should be to contact the insurance company and supply them with the proof. If they agree with you, they will likely offer some compensation. If not, you will need the advice and counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 24, 2014

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