How Often Does PTSD Happen After a Car Crash?

Published on Jun 11, 2020 at 2:47 pm in Car Accidents.

Man holding head in left hand

Both minor and severe car crashes can cause debilitating physical injuries, and in some cases, they can also cause debilitating emotional injuries. Although it’s not automatic that a victim will develop a serious emotional injury like post-traumatic stress disorder after a car accident, it is still a very real possibility. Survivors might be hesitant to seek help for an emotional injury after an accident because unlike physical injuries, emotional injuries cannot be seen.

Emotional injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder are just as real and can be just as painful as a broken bone. When your life is dramatically affected by an injury of any kind after an auto wreck that wasn’t your fault, you deserve justice for the way of life that was taken from you. A car accident lawyer from Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC will give you the legal support you need to grant you peace of mind that the liable party is being held responsible for their actions.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Statistics

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a person experiences a shocking, scary, or life-threatening event, like a car accident, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). When people develop PTSD, their flight-or-fight response is triggered by stressors—whether they are in danger or not. These stressors after a car accident could be anything from just getting into a car, to seeing a flashing light and re-living the experience of the crash. PTSD symptoms can start hours, days, or months after an accident, and can persist for years.

After a car accident, around 30 percent of survivors have shown to have the symptoms of PTSD at least 30 days post-crash, according to an article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Of those diagnosed with PTSD, nearly 50 percent have symptoms concurrent with major depressive episodes. Car accident survivors with PTSD are also more likely to have mood disorders, chronic pain, and substance use disorders.

There is a subsection of car accident victims who get a different form of PTSD whose symptoms are likely to go into remission within six months, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). This subset of PTSD is known as subsyndromal or partial PTSD, and survivors with this variation experience more symptoms of re-experiencing and startles, but almost none of the emotional numbing and avoidance. To understand more about all forms of PTSD, let’s look at the symptoms commonly shown with this disorder.

Symptoms of PTSD After a Car Accident

Motor vehicle accidents can cause all kinds of emotional disturbances, especially when they’re serious and threaten your life. PTSD, though, is more than feeling scared, stressed, or sad. It can restrict a person from doing the simplest of tasks and can keep them from returning to their regular daily life. According to the same article above that was published by the NCBI, a person with PTSD from their car crash might experience symptoms like:

  • Psychologically re-experiencing the trauma
  • Intrusive thoughts about the accident
  • Dreams about the accident
  • Refusing to drive
  • Avoiding thoughts about the accident
  • Numbing of emotions
  • Being easily startled
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Disassociating

Any of these symptoms on their own, or any combination of them, can disrupt your life. When an accident that wasn’t your fault causes you severe emotional trauma on top of serious physical injuries, you’ll likely want to see to it that the person responsible for the accident is held accountable for their actions. With the help of a car accident lawyer from Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC in Jackson, Mississippi, you’ll be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries, bills, and lost wages, as well as peace of mind.

You’re not in this alone. We know how hard it can be to recover after an accident that causes so much damage, and we’re here to help you. We’ll take care of the legal side of things so you can focus on healing. Contact our office today and we can discuss your potential case.

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