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Is it Possible to Link Post-Traumatic Stress to an Auto Accident?

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Nov 13, 2020 in Auto Accidents

putting together puzzle of a human brainResearch has shown a significant number of car crash victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They may suffer flashbacks, nightmares and mood swings and may actively avoid situations that remind them of the accident.

If the accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, victims may be able to file a claim for compensation for PTSD, along with other damages suffered (medical bills, lost wages, etc.). However, PTSD can be difficult to prove, as it is not a physical injury that insurance companies can see.

Below, learn more about the challenges of linking emotional/psychological issues like PTSD to a car accident. Those suffering from PTSD after a crash should strongly consider seeking legal representation. Phillips Law Group has a proven track record and decades of combined experience.

Diagnosing PTSD

One of the most important things any car accident victim can do is seek medical treatment as soon as possible. That way doctors can examine you, diagnose your injuries, stabilize them and begin treatment.

However, doctors are only going to diagnose the physical injuries you suffered. If you are experiencing emotional injuries, you need to see a licensed mental health professional (psychologist or psychiatrist), so he or she can document the problems you are having.

Unfortunately, there is still a stigma around mental health issues, and this often prevents people from seeking help. However, many people deal with psychological or emotional problems after an accident, including PTSD. It is not all that abnormal, and treatment could help you work through these issues and help improve your quality of life.

Receiving a diagnosis from a licensed professional could also strengthen your claim for compensation. Your Phoenix car accident lawyer must prove a link between the accident and your mental health issues, and this is one way to establish that link.

Symptoms to Watch for

Usually, PTSD symptoms will appear within one to three months of the accident. Generally, these symptoms must persist for at least a month to be diagnosed as PTSD. Mental health professionals are looking for significant emotional distress and trouble functioning in your daily life.

Some of the most common symptoms of this disorder include:


For example, if your car accident happened on an interstate, you may avoid driving on the interstate. You may take a much longer route to work simply to avoid driving on the interstate because it reminds you of what happened.   

Those suffering from PTSD may also avoid people who were involved in an accident and avoid talking about the incident.

Antisocial Behavior

PTSD victims may try to cope by simply avoiding other people and isolating themselves. They are hoping to avoid anyone or anything that may remind them of the trauma they suffered.


This refers to intense negative reactions to ordinary things, like different things people see or hear on a regular basis. Those suffering from PTSD have trouble controlling their reaction to these things and may display angry outbursts.

Flashbacks or Intrusive Thoughts

People may relive the incident in their mind or suffer nightmares that remind them of the incident in question.

Other symptoms that may present with PTSD include:

  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Fear of crowds
  • Alcohol or drug abuse

These are all things to discuss with a licensed mental health professional, as it will help him or her to diagnose your condition and provide appropriate treatment.

Keep in mind, mental health professionals and attorneys are bound by confidentiality agreements. Your lawyer can tell you more about what this means, but basically, you should have a good amount of control over what information is brought into your claim.

The attorneys at Phillips Law Group understand how sensitive these issues are, and we are committed to doing our best to protect your privacy as much as possible.

How Expensive Can PTSD Treatment Be?

It depends on many factors, including how long you end up suffering from this disorder, how you respond to treatment, and the severity of your PTSD. However, treatment can quickly become very expensive, which is why pursuing compensation can be so important.

Treatment often involves regular meetings with a therapist and potentially taking prescription medication to manage symptoms like anxiety and depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy is another way PTSD may be treated. It involves helping victims recognize and unlearn harmful habits and replacing them with healthier alternatives.

Past and future treatment for PTSD may all be compensable in a car accident claim. However, victims need to meet with a licensed mental health professional to document what is going on. Meeting with a lawyer can also be very important, as linking PTSD to a car accident can be challenging.

Need Help with Your Crash Claim? Call Today

We know accident victims often have many questions about pursuing compensation for their damages. We also know they are dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety as medical bills pile up and they are unable to work.

We have been assisting Arizona injury victims for more than 28 years and have recovered hundreds of millions in compensation.

The initial consultation is free and there are no fees unless you are paid at the end of the legal process.

Call Phillips Law Group today at 1-800-706-3000

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