Can a Car Accident Cause PTSD?

 Can a Car Accident Cause PTSD?

Car accidents, no matter how mild, are very serious events that should never be taken lightly by anyone, whether they were involved or not. The sound of metal clashing, the scene of two or more vehicles colliding, and the injuries and damages that follow can have lasting effects, even apart from the physical consequences. 

Those that experience or witness car accidents are at risk of developing PTSD – something that may affect their ability to drive or ride in a vehicle as a passenger from then on. If you feel that you have developed symptoms of PTSD following a collision, an experienced law firm, like the Pittsburgh based Chaffin Luhana, can help you to navigate your condition and receive compensation for these effects.

What is PTSD?

Most people attribute PTSD with veterans that have returned from deployment with painful memories of being on the frontlines. Although that is the case for many people with the condition, that is not the full extent of PTSD. This is a condition that affects more people than the general public realizes since it can manifest in anyone who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.

Car accidents are highly likely to cause PTSD in victims or witnesses, especially those that result in severe injuries or loss of life. Such an event can cause severe, long-lasting psychological trauma that may affect future behaviors and capabilities related to the incident. For instance, it is normal for car accident victims to become more anxious on the road and even dwell on the details of the collision for several weeks afterward. However, those feelings fade.

Those suffering from PTSD may experience worsening feelings, thoughts, and fears related to the accident – so much so, that they may no longer be able to function normally. Symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Panic attacks
  • Significant changes in personality
  • Self-medication in the form of substance abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts

Those who experience PTSD following a car accident will often go to great lengths to avoid activities or circumstances that remind them of the accident. This may manifest in their inability to drive on highways or city streets – they may not be able to enter a vehicle at all anymore and opt for public transportation instead. However, it manifests, there is a great deal of therapy that must follow such an event to help the victim regain their ability to function normally in and around vehicles.

How an Attorney Can Aid Your Recovery

Recovering from the effects of an accident can be a long, exhausting process, especially in cases where a victim has experienced the onset of PTSD. Extensive psychiatric treatment must be delivered to return the victim to a state of mind in which they are capable of operating and interacting with vehicles as they were before the accident.

A personal injury attorney can help you to earn the compensation necessary to cover these expenses and any damages to your vehicle. Your lawyer is familiar with just how hard insurance companies will fight to refuse a fair settlement to car accident victims, especially those who experience long-lasting trauma. With expert legal help, you will not be at the mercy of such tactics and can instead be sure that your recovery is fully funded, allowing you to recover as peacefully as possible.

Ruth Hill