Experiencing a serious car accident isn’t just scary—it’s traumatic. After a wreck, you may experience flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, or depression. While these issues may fade in time, they might also be symptomatic of an overarching condition for which you should seek treatment. Motor vehicle accidents are the most frequently experienced traumatic event for about 25% of all males, and 13% of all females in the US. About 1% of the entire US population will be involved in a serious car accident each year, thus resulting in roughly 3 million injuries. Among those involved in a motor vehicle accident, nearly 10% will develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Read on to determine if you may be experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder after your car accident.
What Are the Symptoms of PTSD After a Car Accident?
The National Institute of Mental Health groups the symptoms of PTSD into three categories:
- Re-experiencing symptoms: These include flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive bad thoughts about the accident.
- Avoidance symptoms: Avoiding the scene of the accident or experiencing fear of driving may be signs of PTSD after a crash. Avoidance symptoms can also appear as depression, guilt, emotional numbness, or difficulty remembering the crash.
- Hyperarousal symptoms: Should you find yourself constantly on edge, easily startled, unable to sleep, or more prone to angry outbursts than normal, such that you have difficulty concentrating or completing tasks, you may have PTSD.
Many people involved in a serious crash don’t consider the toll that the accident may have taken on them emotionally, in addition to the physical toll, and only treat their physical symptoms. However, without treatment, these symptoms can persist for up to a year after a crash. Those who recover more quickly from a car accident are often those who receive social support from friends and family, who treat and recover from any ensuing physical injuries after a crash, and who re-immerse themselves in the professional and social activities typical of their lives before the crash.
Speak with your doctor or a therapist if you believe that you are experiencing the symptoms of PTSD after your accident. There are a number of different treatments for PTSD, including therapeutic and medicinal treatments. Discuss these issues with your attorney, as well, as you can include the cost of such treatment among your damages resulting from the crash.
If you’ve been seriously hurt in a Hudson Valley car accident, contact the skilled Kingston personal injury attorneys at Basch & Keegan for a free consultation on your claims, at (845) 251-4545.
About the Author
Maureen A. Keegan is a co-founder and partner of Basch & Keegan. She has been practicing personal injury law since 1986 and uses her experience to fight for the rights of injured individuals.