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I’ve Been Having Trouble Sleeping After a Car Accident. What Can I Do?

January 17, 2022Car Accidents

The impact on your quality of life after a car accident can be reflected in many ways. You may be experiencing chronic pain, physical impairments, financial difficulties, and, to top it off, the inability to sleep.

What to Do if You Have Trouble Sleeping After a Car Accident

Insomnia after a car accident can sometimes indicate a bigger problem. The steps you take next may not only impact your health but your claim for compensation as well. Here is what to do:

See a Doctor

Some injuries are not immediately noticeable after a car accident and can have delayed symptoms. Seeing a doctor right away is extremely important if you have trouble sleeping so that further complications do not develop. They may be able to diagnose a hidden injury and begin treatment right away. In contrast, if you wait too long to see a doctor, it can be challenging to link your loss of sleep to the trauma of the accident and recover compensation for the impact on your life.

Document Your Insomnia

You will need as much documentation as possible to use as evidence. That includes medical records, receipts for prescription medications, and any other related e expenses. In addition, keep a daily journal that notes how much sleep you get a night (if any), your symptoms (e.g., pain, anxiety, depression, etc.), and the impact the loss of sleep is having on your life (e.g., unable to work, complete household tasks, personal care, etc.).

Speak to an Attorney

Whether you already have a St. Louis car accident lawyer or still need to hire one, let them know about your trouble sleeping. They can advise you of your legal options for recovering compensation and ensure you are getting the treatment you need, and adequately document how your life has been impacted.

Demonstrating to the insurance company that the accident is the cause of your insomnia can be difficult to do, especially if you wait to see a doctor. A way to protect yourself is to speak to a car accident lawyer before settling your claim. If you resolve it too early, you may lose out on the compensation you need to fully recover.

Why You’re Having Trouble Sleeping After a Car Accident

Several causes are commonly linked to insomnia after a car accident.

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):  Sleep disturbances can often be attributed to PTSD. A psychological condition that individuals can suffer after a traumatic event and is characterized by unwanted, recurrent flashbacks of the crash. These, in turn, can make it difficult or impossible to sleep. If a victim does fall asleep, the quality may be poor or interrupted due to nightmares. Individuals who have PTSD often feel a loss of control and an inability to help themselves in bad situations.
  • Spinal Cord Injury: Being unable to get good, restful sleep can also signal a spinal cord injury (SCI). An SCI’s symptoms can vary based on the location and severity and are not always immediately noticeable. An SCI can interfere with sleep by causing pain, restless leg syndrome, muscle spasms, frequent urination, depression, changes in the body’s internal thermostat, and more.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Car accidents are the second leading cause of TBIs. A head injury can have delayed symptoms but may cause insomnia if the region of the brain that regulates sleep is impacted.

As long as your trouble sleeping can be linked to the car accident, you are legally entitled to claim compensation if another negligent driver is responsible.

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