Living With PTSD After a Car Accident?

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Aaron House

Living With PTSD After a Car Accident?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common medical condition experienced by people who have been through traumatic events like car crashes. If PTSD is not adequately treated, it can quickly turn to even more serious problems including depression, drug dependence, suicidal tendencies, and physical health ailments.

It is common to feel upset and anxious after being in a car crash. After all, car accidents are frightening experiences. For many people, these emotions dispel over time, and eventually, victims are able to put the events behind them. For people with PTSD, however, it can be challenging to move past memories of the crash.

Spotting the signs can be difficult. In the time following a crash, victims often experience emotions of shock as well as disbelief, anxiety, worry, and even fear that it might occur again. Victims often discover that they keep reliving the event, both while they are awake and in their dreams.

Below are several important reminders for dealing with PTSD that has been caused by a car crash. If you feel like you have PTSD after being involved in a car crash, you should seek treatment from your doctor.

Risk Factors

Studies have not found much evidence addressing the influence of specific characteristics of car accidents on the development of PTSD. Fearing that your life is in danger during an event is the strongest predictor of whether a person will suffer from PTSD afterward. Some of the other factors that increase a person’s chance of PTSD include a family history of psychopathology, heightened emotions during or immediately after the event, a prior history of trauma, and a lack of social support following the event.

You Can Receive Compensation for PTSD Damages

PTSD can cause car crash victims to incur economic costs, including those associated with medication and treatment. Other PTSD-related damages are considered non-economic because there is not a dollar amount that is directly attributable to them. These include pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. The exact amount that you end up receiving in damages due to a PTSD diagnosis depends on a range of factors including the severity of your symptoms, how the symptoms impact your daily life as well as your relationships, your medical provider’s opinion about your ability to recover from PTSD, and other expert testimony regarding exactly how the condition has and likely will continue to impact your life.

Symptoms Associated With PTSD

Single-event trauma occurs when a person faces a traumatic event once and then the event is over.  Car accidents are one of the most common types of single-event trauma that causes PTSD. Some of the symptoms associated with the condition include:

• Flashbacks, nightmares, and auditory or visual memories about the event;
• Avoidance of people, places, or situations that remind the person of the event;
• Nervous and anxious response to things that did not previously cause such a response; and/or
• Negative changes in mood or thinking.

Treating PTSD

Fortunately, PTSD is often treatable. With professional care, crash victims learn how to manage the condition and resume living their daily lives. The effectiveness of treatment often depends on how quickly patients begin treatment after the accident as well as how openly they communicate with their health care provider. Victims should avoid trying to “tough it out.” Understandably, many people don’t want to complain, but dealing with a serious medical condition and explaining the issues resulting from the condition to medical providers isn’t complaining.  Failure to report symptoms to medical providers only gives the at-fault party the advantage of paying an injured person less because the medical issues have not been documented.

Speak with a Compassionate Car Crash Attorney

Speak with a medical professional after your crash who can help screen you and make a PTSD diagnosis. Remember, not all injuries from car accidents are visible, and those can be some of the most difficult cases. After you consult your doctor, reach out to an experienced car accident attorney. Contact House Law LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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