Can You Get PTSD From a Car Accident?


A car accident, whether major or minor, can cause injuries and distress to the people involved. An accident is a traumatic experience. Therefore, it’s normal to wonder if you could develop PTSD from such an encounter. The article below will explain everything you need to know about developing PTSD after a car accident.

Car Accidents and PTSD

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, PTSD can occur after a scary, shocking, or dangerous encounter. A car accident definitely falls in this category. In the past, PTSD was mostly diagnosed among military members who had fought in wars. However, experts now acknowledge that this mental health disorder can affect anyone who has suffered trauma.

PTSD differs slightly from the usual challenges people experience after dealing with an upsetting event. While most people in a car accident will face temporary challenges but get better with some self-care, PTSD can last for years and affect daily routine. Car accidents are among the leading causes of PTSD among non-military personnel.

Symptoms of PTSD

Some signs of PTSD will develop shortly after a car accident, while others can take months to manifest. But generally, the symptoms to look out for include the following:

  • Anger: Anything that provokes feelings of helplessness can trigger anger
  • Intrusive thoughts: Victims often relieve the traumatic event in their minds or experience unwanted memories.
  • Anxiety: Victims can struggle with anxiety when getting inside a car or when they pass the location of the accident.
  • Sleep disturbances: Some victims will sleep more than often to avoid thinking about the accident or any interactions that can trigger memories of the accident.
  • Avoidance: people with PTSD will avoid talking about anything that triggers thoughts of a car accident.
  • Changes in thoughts and moods
  • Startling more easily

Getting Compensation After a Car Accident

After a car accident, you’ll be entitled to compensation for the damage you have suffered, including the mental health effects of the car crash. PTSD usually falls under emotional distress. Such a health condition will prevent you from living your life fully. You ought to get compensated for that.

However, proving emotional distress after a car accident can be tricky as the damage is not visible, like physical injuries. It’s best to hire an auto collision lawyer to prove you have PTSD. The lawyer will go through your medical records to prove this is a type of injury you suffered from the accident and help you get compensated.

How Long Does PTSD Last?

PTSD can last a few weeks or months, but if not treated, it can last for years. There are several treatments for PTSD, with the most common one being therapy. Cognitive and exposure therapy help patients recognize patterns preventing them from moving forward and facing memories that cause them to relive the trauma.

How Much Money Can You Get for PTSD After a Car Accident

Compensation after a car accident includes payment for the actual medical costs you incur, pain and suffering compensation, and emotional distress damages. This means you’ll receive payment for the treatment you need to manage the PTSD and get compensation for the discomfort or pain you experience while dealing with the condition. The payment’s specific value will depend on various factors, such as how likely you are to recover from PTSD and how the condition has impacted your life.

If you or a loved one has had PTSD because of a car accident, you are entitled to compensation. Talk to a personal injury lawyer about your case and see the help you can get. This way, you will not only get help, but you’ll also be able to maintain a healthy life.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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11 months ago

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