Car accidents can be difficult situations to endure. In many circumstances, these accidents often bring about physical and mental trauma. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the general population. While physical traumas endured during car crashes are generally treated immediately, the emotional trauma endured is often neglected. However, emotional trauma deserves the same respect and treatment resources as physical injuries receive. Car crash survivors should never be ashamed to seek treatment for emotional trauma sustained during the accident. Read on to learn more about PTSD and how to seek treatment following a car crash. 

Understanding PTSD 

Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a mental health condition brought on following exposure to a traumatic event. Car crashes are a leading cause of PTSD in the United States. It is very common for PTSD to develop after an individual is placed in a situation where their fight-or-flight response is triggered by stressors. PTSD symptoms can start hours, days, or even months after the car crash. Unfortunately, these PTSD symptoms can persist for years following the accident, especially if proper treatment is not received.

It is important to remember that developing PTSD can happen to anyone following a traumatic event. While PTSD can happen to anyone, there are several factors that have been found to increase the risk of developing PTSD.

Increased Risk Factors for PTSD

  • Dissociation during or immediately after the event 
  • History of prior trauma 
  • Lack of social support or resources 
  • Prior psychological adjustment problems 
  • Family history of psychopathology 

Understanding the increased risk factors associated with developing PTSD is important to know following a car crash. Knowing what the potential increased risk factors are will help with seeking proper treatment. Another important part of seeking PTSD treatment following an accident is understanding the common symptoms associated with PTSD. Knowing what the common PTSD symptoms are will allow you to be proactive in seeking treatment. 

Symptoms of PTSD Following a Car Accident 

While it's normal to feel a flood of emotions immediately following a car accident, it becomes troublesome when these emotions linger. If feelings of shock, guilt, grief, helplessness, confusion, or fear persist for weeks or months after the initial car crash, it is important to seek medical help for emotional trauma. These prolonged feelings are common indicators of PTSD. If you experience any of the following symptoms following a car crash, it is important to seek medical treatment and diagnosis. 

  • Disassociating from reality 
  • Exhibiting avoidance behaviors 
  • Changes in emotional reactions
  • Refusing to drive after the accident
  • Numbing of emotions and feelings 
  • Experiencing gastrointestinal problems 
  • Being easily startled in everyday situations 
  • Having traumatic dreams about the accident
  • Experiencing intrusive thoughts about the accident 
  • Avoiding thoughts about the accident 
  • Psychologically re-experiencing the trauma 

Experiencing any one of these symptoms has the potential to disrupt your daily life. If you were the victim of a car crash, you deserve compensation for the emotional trauma endured. 

Seeking Treatment for PTSD

Along with seeking compensation for emotional trauma experienced following the car crash, you should also seek proper treatment for PTSD symptoms. A qualified medical professional will be able to assess your symptoms to determine if the car crash has led to the development of PTSD. If you are diagnosed with PTSD, there are a number of effective treatment methods available. Along with therapy, certain medications have been found to help manage PTSD symptoms. 

PTSD has the very real potential to turn your daily life upside down. The symptoms associated with PTSD can make it hard to go to work, school, care for your children, or even accomplish routine daily tasks. This is no way to live. If you were involved in a car crash and are now experiencing PTSD, you deserve proper treatment. If you were involved in a car crash that wasn't your fault, you also deserve justice. If PTSD is affecting your ability to live normally and function properly in society, you deserve compensation. Working with an experienced accident lawyer is your best bet in obtaining legal support and compensation for the emotional trauma sustained. 

Consult with an Accident Attorney Today 

If you would like to file a personal injury claim after being diagnosed with PTSD following a car crash, please consult with an experienced accident attorney today. A qualified attorney will help to bring you the fairest compensation possible for the emotional injuries you sustained during your car crash. The only thing you should be worried about following your accident is overcoming your PTSD diagnosis. Leave the legal proceedings to the professionals. As accident lawyers, it's our business to help you. Contact us today to move forward with your personal injury claim. We look forward to working with you and helping you receive the compensation you deserve.