Can I Experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After a Car Accident?

When you hear about a car accident, the first thing that comes to mind is physical injury and property damage. However, what's often overlooked are the emotional and psychological impacts that can be just as devastating. In fact, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after a car accident is more common than you might think. According to a 2018 study, around 22.25% of road traffic accident survivors experienced post-traumatic stress disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a natural reaction to such a stressful event and can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or severity of the accident.

If you or someone you love has been in a car accident, it's important to remember that seeking professional help for psychological injuries is just as important as seeking help for physical injuries. Don't let the aftermath of an accident go untreated. Read more to learn about what you can do if you’ve suffered psychological effects after a car accident.

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

The Mayo Clinic describes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as “a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it.” When people go through traumatic events, they can have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping. Usually, after time, these people get better. However, if the symptoms such as flashbacks, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts of the events persist for months or years, you may have PTSD.

How Do I Know If I Have PTSD After a Car Accident?

After a car accident, it can be difficult to know right away if you have developed PTSD. This type of trauma can manifest itself in many different ways, and the symptoms can vary from person to person.

In a study by J. Gayle Beck and Scott F. Coffey, motor vehicle accident survivors tended to experience the following systems:

  • Re-experiencing the trauma
  • Reluctance/refusal to drive
  • Reduced or absence of emotions
  • Irritability
  • Easily startled

Other PTSD symptoms can include:

  • Intrusive memories
    • Recurring, unwanted memories of the traumatic experience
    • Reliving the traumatic event (flashbacks)
    • Nightmares about the traumatic experience
    • Emotional distress and/or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic experience
  • Avoidance
    • Attempting to avoid thinking or talking about the event
    • Avoiding places, people, or activities that remind you of the event
  • Negative changes in thinking/mood
    • Feeling detached from your friends and family
    • Emotional numbness
    • Lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Changes in physical and emotional reactions:
    • Easily frightened
    • Self-destructive behavior, such as driving too fast
    • Overwhelming guilt
    • Problems sleeping or concentrating

If you are currently experiencing symptoms of PTSD, it is important to remember that you are not alone in this struggle. Post-traumatic stress disorder can take a heavy toll on your mental and physical health, ultimately impacting your overall well-being. Therefore, seeking medical care as soon as possible is important.

Your doctor can refer you to a psychologist who can diagnose you and help you find the best treatment for you. This can include any combination of psychotherapy, medication, and/or other methods.

Can I Get Compensation for PTSD?

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, especially if you have suffered PTSD as a result. If the other driver was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. A personal injury attorney can help you file your claim to help you receive the full amount of compensation that you deserve.

Other damages you may be able to recover include:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of consortium
  • And more

Seeking the help of a professional attorney can take away the stress of navigating the legal system and allow you to focus on your recovery. If you have suffered PTSD as a result of a car accident, don't hesitate to reach out to a personal injury attorney.

Contact Busch, Reed, Jones & Leeper, P.C.

The aftermath of a car accident can be an emotional and stressful experience. Besides dealing with the damage to your car, you may also be facing psychological distress due to the incident. At Busch, Reed, Jones & Leeper, P.C., we understand that not all injuries are physical, and we strive to help individuals in their time of need.

Our personal injury lawyers are here to support you and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. With years of experience, we understand the intricacies of the legal system, and we'll work tirelessly to provide you with comprehensive legal representation. Let us help you navigate this difficult time and advocate for your rights.

Give us a call today at (770) 629-0154 or contact us online to learn how we can help.