Visitor Question

Compensation for Emotional Trauma After a Rear End Car Accident?

Submitted By: Lou (Saint Louis, MO)

I was rear-ended in my car. I was in the left turn lane and a funeral procession was going past. As the procession ended we had a green arrow, the car in front of me made the turn and the light turned yellow as they made it through. I pulled to the crosswalk just as the light turned to red (it is a red light camera intersection, if I would have went I would have gotten a ticket).

I was rear-ended because the car behind me thought I “would go for it”. He took full responsibility. I was transported by ambulance to an ER. They were too busy and didn’t have a room for me, so I sat in the open waiting room completely exposed.

While I was taped to the backboard a shoot-out between police and another man happened just a few feet from me and I couldn’t move. I suffered not only pain from my injuries, but now I am scared every where I go. I am afraid to drive, in fear this will happen again. Can I be compensated for the emotional trauma as well as the car accident injuries? Thanks.

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 Lou,

In a word, No.

First of all, unless you can accumulate medical evidence showing one or both incidents caused post-traumatic syndrome or another similar serious trauma, you don’t have a case.

Even if you did and you wanted to sue the hospital, you would have to prove the hospital was in some manner negligent. To do that you would have to have evidence the hospital’s security actions or inactions constituted negligence, and as a result led to the shooting. That will be very, very hard to do.

In the matter of the driver who rear-ended you, the possibility of successfully suing him or her is negligible at best. In hundreds of cases I’ve reviewed I have yet to come across one in which a rear end collision resulted in a post-traumatic syndrome or similar extended trauma.

Your best bet would be to seek psychological counseling. Doing so may help you get through this difficult time.

Learn more here: Missouri Car Accident Guide

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


One comment on “Compensation for Emotional Trauma After a Rear End Car Accident?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Walk a mile in my orthopedic shoes. I know P.T.S.D. can happen from an auto accident – I have it. I used to get really anxious when riding in a car and when someone else was driving I would white knuckle it, as they say.

    My feet would be digging into the floor board while I would envision the vehicle going off of the road, rolling, crashing, with absolute fear coming over me.

    It was not as bad if I was driving, since I had more control, but I still don’t feel well. I get upset if I have to be in a car for too long.

    This was after an auto wreck went head on into a tree and totaled my car. Years later I was rear ended at low impact and it was like a bomb out of nowhere.

    I sold my car months later and it cuts down on me having to drive anyone anywhere. I try and tell myself I am alive and I won’t go out that way, but I cant be sure.

    I say all the non believers should volunteer as test dummies instead of judging what they cannot know, and what affects one person may not another, you just don’t know until you know.

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