You can get post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from a car accident. Two ways this can happen include:
- Suffering severe injuries in a collision
- Witnessing other people get severe or fatal injuries
Symptoms of PTSD from a Car Wreck
When you get PTSD from a car accident there are symptoms that can be broken down into two categories: physical and cognitive.
Physical symptoms with PTSD include:
- Insomnia, excess sleep, nightmares, and other sleep disturbances
- Weight loss or gain
- Chronic pain
Cognitive signs of PTSD can involve:
- Memory problems
- Attention and concentration issues
- Confusion or cloudy thinking
The behavioral symptoms of PTSD can wreak havoc on your life. People who survive an accident in which someone else died, often experience survivor’s guilt. If you were driving or a child suffered harm, you might feel self-blame or shame. Additional characteristics include:
- Anxiety, irritability, agitation, depression, and emotional outbursts
- Self-harming behaviors
- Suicidal ideation
- Homicidal thoughts
Treatment for Accident-related PTSD
Your doctor might treat your PTSD with medication and refer you for therapy or counseling. For some people, short-term measures are sufficient to treat their PTSD. Others are not so lucky.
Auto accident-related PTSD can make a person afraid to drive or be a passenger in a vehicle. The condition can progress to the extent that one has a fear of using any form of travel, including public transportation. The more isolated a person becomes, the more entrenched his phobia can become.
If untreated, the fear of driving or riding can lead to agoraphobia, in which the person is afraid to leave the house. In these situations, it might be necessary to seek treatment at a rehabilitation center.
Compensation for PTSD from an Auto Accident
If you cannot eat, sleep, or you are afraid to get into a vehicle, it can be challenging, if not impossible to perform ordinary tasks of daily living and maintain employment. Those close to you might be compassionate for a while, but they may lose patience with your illness over time. This situation can damage your close interpersonal relationships.
We can seek compensation for any physical injuries you suffered in the crash, which can include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages from when you could not be at work because of the wreck and recuperation time
- Pain and suffering
Also, we can make a claim for your accident-related PTSD. Your damages will depend on how the PTSD has affected your life, but you might be eligible for compensation for:
- Medical expenses to treat the PTSD
- Lost income from being unable to work due to treatment and recuperation time, plus the inability to maintain gainful employment because of the fear of driving or agoraphobia
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical pain
- Mental distress
- Your spouse’s loss of consortium (for the damage to the relationship)
Seek Medical Help for PTSD From a Car Accident
Do not beat yourself up if you get PTSD from a car accident. PTSD is a legitimate medical condition. It is not a sign of weakness or lack of resolve. PTSD can worsen if left untreated, so seek professional medical care if you think you might have some signs of the illness.
Speak With A Lawyer to Explore Your Legal Options
Once you get a treatment plan in place, call a personal injury lawyer to protect your right to compensation for what you have experienced. Do not settle early with the insurance company. If you incur additional medical expenses after reaching a settlement, you cannot go back and ask for more money. Having a stack of unpaid medical bills will worsen your stress and anxiety, which could exacerbate your PTSD from the wreck.