Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can have a significant negative impact on your quality of life, making it difficult to return to work or enjoy time with family and friends. One common cause of PTSD are tragic and traumatic events such as car accidents. Despite PTSD affecting many victims of car crashes, some do not know how to identify the condition or if they’re developing PTSD.
Learning about five common symptoms of PTSD after motor vehicle accidents can help you determine what to look out for and when to get medical care. A diagnosis may allow you to seek compensation for this condition’s impact on your mental health and everyday life. Continue reading to discover some of the symptoms that indicate that you may have post traumatic stress disorder from a car accident. Being aware of car accident PTSD symptoms can help car accident victims get the help they need to fully recover from the traumatic event.
In this Article
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. This can include car accidents, military combat, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or sexual violence. For some people, the trauma may be ongoing, such as in cases of child abuse.
Most people who experience a traumatic accident or event do not develop PTSD. However, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, it is estimated that about 6% of Americans will suffer from the disorder at some point in their lives. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, with 8% of women and 4% of men affected. Though 12 million American adults have PTSD in a given year, this is only a small number of individuals compared to those who have experienced some form of trauma.
PTSD After a Car Accident: What You Need to Know
Car accidents are one of the most common causes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you were in a motor vehicle collision and are now suffering from PTSD, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Early intervention can make a big difference in your ability to recover and may even prevent the development of chronic PTSD.
There are a number of different symptoms associated with PTSD, and they can vary in severity. Some people may only experience mild symptoms while others may find that their symptoms are so severe that they are unable to function on a day-to-day basis.
You May Suffer from PTSD If You’re Experiencing These Symptoms
According to Mayo Clinic, five common symptoms of PTSD after a car accident include:
1. Avoidant behavior
If you notice that you constantly try to avoid things that take you back to the day of the car accident, you may have PTSD. This issue can present itself as an extreme fear of driving.
If the accident caused the wrongful death of your loved one, you might also avoid talking about them or participating in activities they enjoyed.
2. Extreme Mood Changes
After suffering injuries in a car accident, you may feel upset for several days or weeks. Moreover, you may experience extreme mood fluctuations within a short time. While it is typical to have some sadness after the crash, symptoms that persist for several weeks could indicate PTSD.
Trauma from a serious car accident can cause you to detach from your loved ones and lead to extreme loneliness. You may also choose not to engage in some activities you loved before due to a lack of morale.
Apart from physical detachment, you might also experience emotional effects. These may cause you to feel distant from your loved ones or make it tough to feel joy or happiness.
Another common sign of PTSD after a car accident is flashbacks. They may happen when talking about the incident or just thinking about it. Flashbacks can also come up due to triggers, like crossing the road or riding in a vehicle.
Unfortunately, experiencing flashbacks after a car accident can trigger other health issues, like anxiety or depression. As a result, it may be difficult to engage in activities that involve traveling.
Having PTSD from a car accident can cause you to experience frustrations and anger outbursts. They may stem from the feeling that avoiding something or making different decisions could have prevented the crash.
The piling up of medical bills and financial strain after an injury may also contribute to these feelings.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please reach out for help from a mental health professional who can provide you with a diagnosis and treatment plan. You should also consult with an experienced car accident attorney to discuss your legal options and whether you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Coping With PTSD After a Car Accident
While it is impossible to erase the traumatic experience of a car accident, there are ways to cope with PTSD and improve your quality of life. Here are some tips:
1. Seek Help from a Mental Health Professional
If you are struggling to cope with PTSD on your own, seek help from a mental health professional. They can provide you with a diagnosis and create a treatment plan specifically for you.
2. Avoid Triggers
You may not be able to control when a traumatic memory pops up, but you can control your environment and avoid triggers that worsen your symptoms. If driving is a trigger for you, consider using public transportation or carpooling. You can also ask a friend or family member to drive when possible.
3. Create a Support System
Having a strong support system is crucial for managing PTSD. Talk to your loved ones about your condition and how they can best support you. It may also be helpful to join a PTSD support group.
4. Practice Relaxation Techniques
There are several relaxation techniques you can practice to help reduce stress and anxiety. Some of these include deep breathing, meditation, and yoga.
5. Seek Financial Compensation
If your PTSD was caused by another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and help you seek the compensation you deserve.
The Kryder Law Group, LLC Can Help You Seek Compensation for Your Injuries
If you are suffering from PTSD after a car accident, The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers can help you seek compensation for your injuries. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will thoroughly investigate your claim and evaluate all of your options. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What to Do When Experiencing PTSD Symptoms After a Car Accident
If you are experiencing PTSD symptoms after a vehicle accident, it is advisable to consult a therapist immediately to begin treating PTSD. They may conduct exams to provide an accurate diagnosis. Further, they can identify the primary triggers and guide you in developing coping mechanisms.
Once the physician analyzes your mental health, they will recommend various therapies to help you recover from PTSD. Some of the methods they can use are:
Prolonged exposure therapy
Stress inoculation training
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
Apart from these treatments, your doctor or therapist can also give you a prescription to manage some symptoms. The medication they recommend will depend on the severity of your condition.
If you were in a car accident and are now suffering from PTSD, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Early intervention can make a big difference in your ability to recover and may even prevent the development of chronic PTSD.
At The Kryder Law Group, LLC, our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you seek compensation for your serious injuries, including the costs of therapy and treatment. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Claiming Compensation for PTSD After a Car Accident
PTSD after a car accident can make your life unenjoyable and affect your relationships. It can also interfere with your concentration and productivity. Filing a claim for damages caused by the collision can help you pay for PTSD treatment. Moreover, it may compensate you for the pain and suffering caused by the condition’s impact on your mental health.
When planning to sue or file a claim for mental health injuries against another party, you must prove they were responsible for the crash. This means that you need enough evidence to prove negligence. Some of the items you can use as proof are:
Images of damage to your vehicle
Pictures of your physical injuries
After proving that another party caused the motor vehicle accident, the next task is to show that the event led to your PTSD. Here, you can use the medical reports provided by your therapist or primary doctor. You can also support your claim with receipts for medical care costs.
Contact The Kryder Law Group, LLC for Help with PTSD After a Car Accident
At The Kryder Law Group, LLC, we can help you claim compensation for mental health injuries after an auto accident. Our attorneys can gather evidence to prove that the crash has a severe impact on your health. We can also negotiate with the other party’s insurance company on your behalf.
If you are experiencing any of these five common symptoms of PTSD after a car crash, you may be entitled to compensation. Reach out to The Kryder Law Group, LLC today to start your free consultation with a Chicago car crash lawyer. We are here to help car accident survivors.