The Risk of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Following a Car Accident

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Jun 20, 2019 in Auto Accidents

risk of ptsd after a car accidentPost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious issue that affects millions of people every year throughout the country. PTSD can be caused by any traumatic or violent event, including car accidents.

Research has shown that roughly nine percent of the population that is involved in a car accident will develop some form of PTSD. The number increases to almost 60 percent when the person involved in a car accident seeks mental health care.

Being injured in a car accident can change your life in an instant. You could suffer from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder if the accident was violent or had a tragic conclusion. The Phoenix car accident lawyers from Phillips Law Group can help you recover compensation for your injuries. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your case.

Understanding PTSD and Its Symptoms

In order to determine if you might be suffering from PTSD, it is important to understand what it is and what symptoms you should be looking for after being involved in a car accident. PTSD can complicate your life to the point where you can no longer get behind the wheel of your car, cause you immense emotional distress, and even lead to depression and anxiety.

The symptoms of PTSD include the following:

  • Having a feeling of being on edge when you are driving
  • When reminded of the accident, your heart rate increases and you feel anxious
  • You experience feelings of avoidance (wanting to avoid driving on certain roads or altogether)
  • You become more watchful (you are on the lookout for dangers lurking around every corner)
  • You experience recurring recollections of the car accident
  • You become numb to the world around you (feel hopeless, depressed and an inability to feel other types of emotions)

Traumatic Stress and Car Accidents

Traumatic stress has long been linked to car accidents, even though the majority of people who survive serious car accidents do not develop any mental health issues that require medical treatment, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Research from VA has found that at least 14 percent of survivors of serious accidents who seek medical treatment for mental health issues have PTSD. Across various studies conducted, the overall average is about 60 percent.  

The studies have also found that anywhere from three and 53 percent of survivors diagnosed with PTSD develop some form of mood disorder like major depression. Another study discovered that of the accidents survivors who obtained treatment, 27 percent suffered from an anxiety disorder along with PTSD and another 15 percent said they developed a phobia of driving.

Risk Factors for Developing PTSD After a Crash

More than three million people are injured every year in car accidents across the U.S. The likelihood of PTSD caused by car accidents increases if you experience the following risk factors:

  • Losing a loved one or friend in the accident
  • Your family has a history of psychological problems
  • You have suffered a prior traumatic event
  • The injuries you suffered threatened your life
  • You were suffering from psychological problems prior to the accident
  • You suffered from dissociation during the accident
  • If you did not receive a lot of support after the accident
  • You have suffered from guilt, fear, helplessness, shame, or horror since the accident

What to Do If You Experience PTSD Symptoms

If you have experienced any of the symptoms of PTSD outlined above, you should seek medical care from your family physician immediately. This is not something you should try to resolve on your own or employ a wait and see approach. The longer you suffer from these symptoms without seeking medical care, the worse PTSD can have an impact on your daily life.

Seek Legal Representation From a Trusted Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Phoenix car accident, you need to seek legal representation from a trusted attorney. The need for representation becomes even more serious if you have been suffering from the symptoms related to PTSD or have been diagnosed with PTSD. The Phoenix car accident lawyers from the Phillips Law Group will be able to investigate your case and help you seek compensation for your injuries. We do not charge any fees unless you collect for your injuries.

Call us today at 1-800-706-3000 to schedule a free consultation.

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