Car accidents are traumatic events. Injuries can be serious and life-threatening, from head and internal injuries to broken bones and deep lacerations.
What about the psychological impact? Even if you are fortunate enough to escape a car wreck without a serious physical injury, you may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to Verywell Mind, car crashes are a leading cause of PTSD. A study concluded that about 39 percent of car accident survivors develop PTSD. The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
If you were in a crash, you may have developed PTSD and not even realize you have the condition. A car wreck is a frightening experience. It’s not unusual for victims to feel shock, confusion, fearful and helpless right after the event. Those with PTSD, however, will continue to experience these feelings for a long time. In fact, the feelings might intensify over time.
Who is at risk of developing PTSD after a crash?
Psychologists have identified several risk factors for PTSD, including:
- Experienced a trauma prior to the accident
- Faced psychological adjustment problems in the past
- Family history of mental illness
- Not having any social support after the accident
- Thinking your life or someone else’s life is in danger
- Dissociating during or immediately after the traumatic event
If you or a loved one was in an accident, you should be aware of PTSD symptoms. Verywell Mind lists the following:
- Avoidance behaviors, which can include abusing substances or dissociating (having breaks in identity, memory, consciousness or self-awareness)
- Intrusive memories (unpleasant thoughts or flashbacks to the traumatic event)
- Changes in emotional reactions
- Negative changes in thinking and mood
How a personal injury attorney can help PTSD car accident victims
If you experienced any of the symptoms of PTSD after an accident, talk to your doctor about them. Your primary care physician may refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist to help cope with the symptoms of PTSD.
PTSD can be debilitating. You may be unable to continue with your career or enjoy time with family and friends. The condition can have a profound impact on your quality of life and result in a loss of income. Even if you can work, you may have to take time off for counseling.
You may have grounds for a PTSD claim but insurance companies typically fight these claims, which can be difficult to prove. That’s why you need a knowledgeable Ohio car accident attorney on your side. Attorney Michael D. Christensen can put his experience and resources to work for you. He can call witnesses – including medical doctors, licensed therapists and other experts – to show that the car accident resulted in your PTSD.
In some cases, a psychological injury can have more of a negative impact on your life than a physical injury. We understand how PTSD can have a devastating effect. To help you get started with your claim, contact Michael D. Christensen Law Offices LLC today for a free consultation.