Can Car Accidents Cause PTSD?
by cjleclaire
Sep 12, 2016 | 28955 views | 0 0 comments | 650 650 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Author:Steven Palermo: The Suffolk Personal Injury Lawyer

You hear about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that military service members experience from active duty. However, studies now show that many motor vehicle accident victims also suffer from PTSD.

According to the National Center for PTSD, research shows motor vehicle accidents are a common cause for traumatic stress, including:

  • PTSD
  • Major Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders

What Is Your Emotional State? Are You Experiencing These Symptoms?

While many people experience PTSD symptoms right after the traumatic incident, others may not experience them until months or even years later. Symptoms often include:

  • Reliving the event (same fears as during the event)
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks (feeling like the event is happening again)
  • Triggers (a sight, smell or sound that causes you to relive the event)
  • Fear of driving
  • Fewer positive or loving feelings towards other people
  • Avoidance of relationships
  • Inability to talk about the traumatic event
  • Viewing the world as dangerous
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Startled by loud noises or surprises

In any given year, approximately 1% of the US population will be injured in motor vehicle accidents — more than 3 million injuries annually.

PTSD Facts

Here are some facts taken from motor vehicle accident (MVA) studies regarding PTSD:

  • 9% of motor vehicle accident (MVA) survivors develop PTSD
  • An average of 60% of MIV survivors who seek mental-health treatment have PTSD
  • Of those 60% seeking mental treatment, between 3% – 53% have major depression
  • Of those 60% seeking mental treatment, 27% have anxiety disorder
  • Of those 60% seeking mental treatment, 15% report a phobia of driving

Researchers also found that the greater the physical injury and fear of dying (due to potential life-threat), the greater the chances of developing PTSD. Loss of significant others through motor vehicle accidents also makes people more prone to PTSD.

Treatments for PTSD include behavior therapy, cognitive therapy and medications. Working with a chronic pain specialist can be done together with mental health treatment.

Unfortunately, many people continue to experience symptoms for more than six months or a year before seeking mental treatment. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you seek damages to cover PTSD treatment as part of an accident settlement.

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