Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition that develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved bodily harm or the threat of bodily harm, such as a car accident. The person who develops PTSD may have been the one harmed, the harm may have come to a loved one, or the person may have witnessed an event that brought harm to someone else.
Anyone can develop PTSD from a car crash. However, some studies suggest that people who have already experienced a traumatic event may be more at risk of suffering from PTSD after a car crash. Especially those who have already been in a car accident may be at a greater risk of developing PTSD after a second accident.
Signs of PTSD
One of the most common signs of PTSD is avoidance. Those suffering from PTSD after car accidents have disturbing memories of the crash and will often avoid any reminders of the accident. These reminders often act as triggers that cause a person to change his or her daily routine or lose interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past. Avoidance can also cause someone to feel emotionally numb or have overwhelming feelings of guilt, depression, and worry.
Another common sign of PTSD is flashbacks. Re-experiencing symptoms, or flashbacks, involve reliving the trauma over and over. This can include physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating, as well as emotional ones like bad dreams or frightening thoughts. Objects and situations that are reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing.
Hyper-arousal symptoms are also common. These are usually constant, instead of being brought on by triggers, and can make the person feel stressed and angry. Hyper-arousal symptoms make it difficult to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.
It’s natural to have any of these symptoms after a dangerous event, and some victims may not show symptoms for weeks or months. However, if you are experiencing these symptoms and they become an ongoing problem, you could be diagnosed with PTSD.
A serious car crash can be enough to trigger PTSD, but there are real challenges for a claimant who is trying to get compensation for this type of injury. If you have been in a car accident and are suffering from PTSD, contact Phillips Law Firm today and let one of our experienced personal injury attorneys assist you in recovering damages for your psychological injury and associated medical costs.