If your teen has recently been involved in their first motor vehicle crash, your primary concern is certainly that their injuries are healing. Yet, it is also important to avoid overlooking the emotional toll that a crash can take on a young driver.
This trauma can last long after physical injuries have healed. As a parent, it’s crucial to understand the signs that your teen is having some challenges processing what has happened.
It’s not unusual for someone – particularly a relatively inexperienced driver — to replay a crash in their head and think about what they could have done to prevent it, even if they weren’t at fault. However, if your teen seems to be continuously reliving it, having trouble sleeping, eating or concentrating, it’s wise to be concerned.
Helping your child regain confidence
It can be helpful for your child to see a therapist who can help them process their thoughts and feelings in a safe, healthy environment and move forward. This can also help them regain a sense of control and confidence.
Another way to regain their confidence as a driver is to get behind the wheel again. As soon as their doctor has given the okay, it’s typically a good idea to encourage your teen to start driving again if they’re hesitant. Of course, this should be done gradually, with you or another adult along at first.
It can also help your teen to be involved in the process of dealing with insurance companies and getting a fair settlement to cover expenses and damages caused by the at-fault driver. That doesn’t mean letting them deal with insurers and others alone. However, seeing how things work can help them to process what has happened and to achieve a strong sense of closure.
As you’re determining damages, remember that mental health treatment can typically be included as well. Having experienced legal guidance can help you and your teen as you seek justice and compensation as you both work to move forward.