North Carolina Car Accident Theory – Talking to the Driver Who Just Hit You

February 7, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

After a North Carolina auto accident – even a minor one, such as a fender bender at a red light or a scrape on the freeway – you enter a kind of primitive physiological state. Your body knows that it’s under threat, and stress reactions kick in. Your adrenaline may jack up. Your blood pressure may rise. You may experience extreme anger as well as focus. If you’re injured, your body may go into shock. A lot of things happen, both psychologically and physically, in other words – even if the accident is minor.

When you get out of your vehicle and talk to the driver or motorcyclist or trucker who hit you, you’re still operating, physiologically, from this primitive state. It’s normal, in such a situation, to feel extreme animosity and anger because you’ve had your need for safety fundamentally threatened. So, you may end up saying or even doing things that you would never do in “real life.” You might curse at an old lady or threaten to punch a scared teenager. You might make accusations that have no bearing or, conversely, apologizing for something that you didn’t even do. Some of these communication mistakes are unfortunate but inconsequential. If you call an old lady an SOB, you might regret it later, but it might not hurt your potential to obtain compensation in North Carolina auto accident case. But if you engage in other behaviors – such as admitting fault as a “gut reaction” when you weren’t indeed in fact at fault, that admission can come back to haunt your case.

To protect yourself from ever having to be in this position, you need to practice how to communicate with people while you’re under stress. Techniques abound to help people become better listeners and more calm and cool in dangerous circumstances. One philosophy of communication you may wish to explore is Dr. Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication philosophy. Rosenberg teaches his students to listen for the “feelings and needs” behind aggressive and angry external statements. For instance, the driver who cursed at you may not be angry because at “you;” rather, he is angry because his need for safety was not met. It’s a subtle distinction, but it’s an important one, since it liberates you from responsibility for other people’s feelings. Likewise, when you get in contact with your own feelings and needs, you are less likely to “take things personally” and more likely to be resourceful, compassionate, and even empathetic in situations where you are under stress.

Learning NVC communication is by no means easy or simple or intuitive. But Rosenberg’s students have compiled many anecdotes in which NVC training helped them to deal with extremely such stressful situations – being robbed, being threatened in public, etc. By connecting with yourself and with others at moments of anger, you can defuse situations that could otherwise turn ugly and also protect and preserve your chances for maximizing justice and obtaining the best possible recovery and resolution.

More Web Resources;

What Happens to the Brain During Periods of Extreme Stress

Nonviolent Communication Website