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PTSD After a Car Crash: Signs & Symptoms

LeeAnn Riddle   |  April 8, 2019   |  

Brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, lacerations and burn injuries are all possible outcomes after being involved in a serious car crash. Motor vehicle crashes could also lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 9 percent of the general population involved in auto accidents develop PTSD after a car crash.

Car accident victims and PTSDSurvivors may be more likely to develop PTSD after a car accident if they have certain risk factors. A prior history of mental health problems could increase the risk. According to the VA, the severity of physical injuries or the amount of social support from friends and family could also affect whether a person develops the mental health disorder.

Symptoms of PTSD for car crash victims

The symptoms of PTSD can make life very difficult for crash survivors. PTSD symptoms listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Mayo Clinic include but are not limited to:

  • Flashbacks, nightmares or reminders of the traumatic event that provoke a severe emotional response.
  • Avoidance of activities, people, places, feelings or thoughts that are related to the traumatic experience.
  • Social isolation caused by feeling detached from others. People with PTSD could have a greater difficulty maintaining relationships.
  • Intense anxiety that interferes with sleeping or concentration.
  • Depression, and/or lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyed and thoughts of hopelessness about the future. Individuals with PTSD have an increased risk of suicide.

As you can see, the symptoms of PTSD can make it very difficult for car accident survivors to meet their social, familial or professional obligations. PTSD severely reduces the quality of life for those injured in an accident.

***IMPORTANT: If you are experiencing PTSD or other mental or emotional trauma, call the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration hotline for confidential help: 1-800-622-HELP

Do personal injury cases consider psychological trauma?

Do personal injury cases take psychological trauma into accountPersonal injury claims for motor vehicle accidents may also take psychological damages like PTSD into account. Psychological injuries can incur significant economic and noneconomic costs. For instance, crash survivors may be unable to return to their occupations or they could require extensive mental health services. Many survivors will experience a significant loss of enjoyment in life. These factors are often considered in car accident injury cases.

Is a diagnosis for PTSD required for my personal injury claim?

In most personal injury cases, the victim must be diagnosed by a doctor and should receive medical or psychological treatment for this condition.  Just claiming that you have emotional injuries is generally not enough to actually recover compensation for PTSD after a car crash. As with other injuries, diagnosis and treatment by a medical provider is vital to prove damages and recover.

Have you been injured in a car crash?

The North Carolina car accident lawyers at Riddle & Brantley, LLP will fight to help you recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity and other damages, including PTSD. Our attorneys also have experience helping veterans with PTSD recover Social Security and VA benefits.

For a free, no-obligation consultation, call us at 800-525-7111 or fill out the form below. There are never any attorney fees unless we win your case and get you compensation.

We look forward to seeing if we can help.