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Can Car Accidents Cause PTSD?

Can Car Accidents Cause PTSD?

Being involved in a serious accident can have a crippling effect. Yes, costly vehicle repairs and mounting medical expenses are stressful, but what about your emotional well-being?

 

It’s not uncommon for drivers and passengers involved in high-impact crashes to develop post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) after the accident. Research shows that approximately nine percent of victims involved in a car accident will develop PTSD. If this is the case for you, an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help you seek compensation against those negligible.

What Is PTSD?

PTSD is a psychological condition that typically affects people who have survived harrowing experiences. Basically, as a means of protecting itself, the brain will try to forget or “block out” the traumatizing ordeal. While part of the brain is trying to block out the memory of the event, another part is telling the body that the person is in constant danger.

 

Because of this, the person may constantly feel on edge, anxious, and threatened. When it comes to surviving a high-impact collision, it’s not uncommon for people to develop symptoms of PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD

Car accidents are frightening, and it’s common to feel uneasy afterward. However, for some, that uneasiness turns into crippling anxiety compounded by the fear of driving or riding in a car. Other potential signs of PTSD include:

 
  • Intrusive Thoughts: You may have nightmares, night terrors or flashbacks to the incident, which includes the sights and sounds you experienced.

  • Emotional Blunting: You may feel numb about the people and places around you and want to remain alone.

  • Changes in Mood: Some people may feel down or depressed after a car accident. They start to see the world differently and think it's unsafe to venture out.


Many people don’t think about how much PTSD can affect a person’s life after the event they experienced. It can affect a person’s social life, ability to work, and the ability to carry on with their everyday life prior to the accident.

 

If this is the case for you, you may also start to avoid certain situations. For example, you may make excuses not to drive at certain times of the day. This type of avoidance patterns reinforces the notion that something bad might happen if you go out during those times. In addition, you may start feeling like you need to be on guard, always aware of what's going on around you to prevent another collision.

How an Experienced San Diego Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

If you’re suffering from PTSD following a car accident, you need to consult with your family physician and any other recommended medical professional. Treatment for PTSD is as individual as you are. Some people require medication while others respond well to cognitive therapy. If you weren't at fault for the accident and suffered injuries, you should also consult a personal injury attorney for compensation.

 

If you or one of your loved ones is experiencing PTSD symptoms as a result of a car accident in the Oceanside area, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, such as the ones at Kohn Law Office. We understand just how difficult these situations are and work hard to ensure your rights are protected. Let me help you move forward with receiving the compensation you deserve.

 

Contact our firm at (760) 301-5456 to discuss your case today.

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