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Can Car Accidents Cause PTSD?

Car crash survivors often deal with painful injuries like broken bones, muscle sprains and strains, spinal damage,nerve injuries, concussions, lacerations, bruises, internal injuries, and worse. However, physical injuries aren’t the only injuries you may sustain damage after a car accident. Although physical injuries are serious, the damage from a car accident can go beyond the physical. Some motor vehicle accidents, especially very severe or traumatizing ones, can cause the drivers or passengers to develop PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

PTSD is commonly associated with military veterans, but it does not result only from combat experience; it can develop after any traumatizing incident, including car crashes. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, car accidents are the leading cause of PTSD among civilians, and nearly 1 in every 10 car accident survivors develops some form of PTSD.

Because PTSD doesn’t manifest in a physical way, like a broken bone or brain injury would, some people might experience PTSD after a crash and write off the symptoms as nothing to worry about. However, PTSD can be extremely destructive and can have a major impact on your life.

If you think you might be suffering from PTSD after a car crash, make sure you understand your legal options and find out what you can do to seek help.

Identifying PTSD

PTSD is a psychological condition that causes individuals to experience frightening and realistic nightmares, flashbacks, severe anxiety, emotional troubles, insomnia, and more. Individuals who suffer from PTSD are often afraid to go to sleep because they know they will have upsetting nightmares. As a result, PTSD can lead to sleep deprivation, insomnia, and sometimes depression, all of which can take a heavy toll on an accident victim.

PTSD symptoms may also occur when the individual is triggered by something that reminds them of their trauma. For example, the sound of tires screeching might make someone with PTSD remember the moment of their crash, triggering a panic attack or a flashback.

If you exhibit any signs of PTSD, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. PTSD can escalate if left untreated, which is why seeing a medical professional is so important. A doctor will be able to analyze your symptoms and steer you toward the right resources.

How PTSD Can Affect You

It’s important to remember that PTSD varies with each individual, so each case can present itself in different ways. Milder forms of PTSD might be upsetting, but more-or-less manageable. However, severe cases of PTSD can be crippling and may leave the individual too afraid to leave their home. In any case, even the mildest forms of PTSD should not be ignored—and a professional should assess your condition in order to help you obtain the medical treatment you need and deserve.

With the help of therapy and specialized medications, even severe PTSD can be managed and treated. When property treated, people with PTSD can live perfectly normal lives and overcome the fear that rises when memories resurface. However, without proper treatment, PTSD may be life altering in an extremely negative way.

Taking Legal Action Against the Liable Party

If you suffer from PTSD because of a severe car accident, you need to take immediate action to advocate for your rights. The person or company responsible for your crash should be held liable for the damage they caused, especially if you are still suffering the repercussions of the incident.

People with PTSD are sometimes crippled by fear, which can prevent them from going to work, attending social events, or even leaving their homes. PTSD might also trigger angry outbursts, which could be harmful to personal relationships, and might even lead to job loss, eviction, or worse. If you suffer from PTSD because of a traumatizing car accident, you may be eligible to seek compensation from the responsible party.

PTSD isn’t just difficult to live with, it can be costly as well. The cost of medications can be hefty, as can ongoing therapy sessions and other medical treatments. Plus, if your condition prevents you from working, you might also be dealing with a pay decrease or a total loss of income. Thankfully, the damages you receive could include compensation for medical expenses, ongoing therapy, costly medications, property damage, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.

Ready to get started? Our team at Simeone & Miller, LLP is prepared to help. Call our attorneys at (202) 888-0872 and find out if we can help you seek compensation for PTSD after a car accident.