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PTSD From Car Wreck

PTSD From Car Wreck

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PTSD From Car Wreck

People involved in serious motor vehicle accidents have an increased risk of developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This psychological issue can have debilitating effects. PTSD is an anxiety-inducing disorder that manifests through symptoms like intrusive thoughts, dreams about the car wreck, avoidance of thinking about it, or avoiding situations linked to the accident. One example is an unwillingness to drive or be driven. Individuals with PTSD from a car wreck can also experience a numbing of emotions and increased physical symptoms such as being easily startled, heightened irritability, and problems with sleep.

Although generally linked to severe accidents, anyone who has been involved in a car wreck can develop PTSD. Suppose you've been experiencing symptoms of PTSD. In that case, you should know that your feelings are valid, and you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering. We can help you get the justice you deserve at Morgan and Morgan. After someone else's negligence causes a life-altering interruption to your well-being, you deserve answers. At-fault parties need to be held accountable.  

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  • How to Explain PTSD?

    Individuals can develop PTSD whether they were involved in a very traumatic event or were witnesses to one. Symptoms are varied but cause people to have high levels of stress and anxiety and can impact personal relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances. Car wrecks can be frightening experiences, and the results can be lifelong when coupled with severe injuries. Even with no serious injuries, people can develop PTSD, which hampers the victim's ability to function regularly.

  • PTSD From Car Wreck: How to Break Down the Symptoms?

    Not everyone who develops PTSD will have the same symptoms. Just because you're not experiencing all the symptoms doesn't minimize how you feel and the devastating impact of PTSD. Here are some of the most common symptoms:

    Anger - When we feel helpless or are subjected to pain, it can make us feel angry. Events after the accident can trigger sudden bouts of anger in an individual suffering from PTSD, even if the event doesn't have anything to do with the car wreck. People living with PTSD may grow angry quickly and lash out without warning.

    Intrusive thoughts and feelings - People living with PTSD may have invasive and unpleasant thoughts and feelings that play over and over again in their heads like a broken record. Even though these thoughts and feelings are undesirable, the recurrence is hard to control.

    Flashbacks to the accident - When individuals are suffering from serious PTSD, pushing thoughts of the accident out of their minds becomes challenging. Reliving the accident time after time can become an obsession as the victim tries to cope. They may be trying to reimagine the accident, looking for clues about how it could have been avoided or what they might do should another accident occur. Some may be trying to sort out who is at fault for the accident. Some flashbacks can be overwhelming, and the victim is thrust right back to the moment the accident happened, along with the pain and terror at the point of impact. A flashback can be very real for some, including sensory input like smells, sounds, and visuals. Flashbacks can be brought on by something reminiscent of the accident, or no external stimuli may be involved at all.

    Depression -  Feeling depressed after an accident that leaves you with serious injuries is not uncommon. However, with PTSD, depression can dramatically interfere with day-to-day living. Some people may need the help of a therapist or medication to break out of the cycle.

    Anxiety - Feeling anxious all the time can be highly disruptive to anyone's well-being. Anxiety might peak when confronted with the scene of the accident or while driving or riding as a passenger. However, feelings of anxiety can impact a sufferer of PTSD in routine situations that don't involve driving, like meeting people or going into public settings.

    Sleeping problems - Sleep issues can impact those that suffer from PTSD differently. Some people may sleep more than usual to escape thoughts of the accident. In contrast, others may lose significant amounts of sleep by dwelling on the car wreck. Nightmares are not uncommon, making getting a decent night's sleep challenging.

    Trouble concentrating - Living with the effects of PTSD can make it difficult to focus on tasks like work, household responsibilities, and even things that once brought joy, like hobbies and recreational activities. Individuals may be consumed with thoughts about the car wreck and little else.

    Withdrawal - It can be scary to deal with PTSD. Some may withdraw from family and friends because they don't want to burden them with their troubles. Others may withdraw because they don't think others would understand what they're going through. Either way, withdrawal from the support of family and friends can make PTSD worse.

    Being easily startled - The lasting effects of PTSD often render individuals more easily startled while engaging in activities that remind them of the accident. For instance, they may overreact to someone merging into their lane or might slam on their brakes even though they have plenty of time to slow down. However, they might startle more easily in regular situations like being approached from behind while unaware.

    Hyper-alertness - Similar to being easily startled, people living with PTSD may exhibit signs of hyper-alertness after an accident as a means to avoid further trauma. They may pay extreme attention to road activity or movements or other situations. Some studies have shown that someone who has PTSD continues to produce fight-or-flight hormones even when they are no longer in a dangerous situation which may be the reason for hyper-alertness and being easily startled.

    Avoiding situations that remind them of the car wreck - Some people with PTSD will avoid settings that remind them of the accident, like getting into vehicles or driving past the accident scene. Some may try to cope by abandoning trying to travel via car completely.

    Fatigue - Recovering from an accident can be tiring for anyone. Still, when you suffer from PTSD, you may feel perpetually tired and have to sit out on activities you once enjoyed. Dealing with emotional and mental trauma can be exhausting, and you may struggle with everyday tasks because of feeling fatigued.

    Suicidal thoughts - Feeling suicidal after an accident, particularly a bad one, can occur if an individual feels they are at fault for the accident. They may feel misplaced guilt or blame and may think their family might be better off without them. 

  • Can Therapy Help With PTSD From a Car Wreck?

    Some people get over PTSD with time and help from friends and family. However, others can significantly benefit from medical treatment and therapy. PTSD should not go unchecked. Morgan and Morgan's personal injury lawyers could help you win the compensation you need for medical expenses, including therapy, counseling, and medication, if you were not at fault for the accident. Here are some treatments for PTSD that may help you cope better:

    Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) - PTSD can cause automated thoughts and emotions, which CPT aims to change. CTP helps patients to challenge and modify unhelpful thoughts and emotions related to the car wreck and change how the patient frames their thinking. It enables the patient to recognize unhelpful thought patterns and modify them to improve function and quality of life.

    Prolonged exposure therapy - Processing trauma can be extremely difficult, and prolonged exposure therapy gives patients a gradual way to come to terms. The patient sets the pace, and the therapists help them confront their fears through breathing exercises and exposure to stimuli in a controlled environment so they can face what they have been avoiding.

    Animal therapy - Certain people respond better to animals than they do to other human beings because animals don't judge. Service animals can help people living with PTSD by incentivizing them to care for them. Animals need to be exercised, fed, and attended to, which may help people who have withdrawn from others, feel anxious, and are depressed.

    Medication - While there is no medicinal "cure" for PTSD, medication can provide stability and help patients to overcome feelings of depression and anxiety. Sometimes medication can provide an initial boost to help patients get past initial hurdles to recovery. Often, medication for PTSD is temporary and can be gradually reduced to where the patient no longer needs it.

  • How Does PTSD Affect Your Car Wreck Claim?

    After a car wreck, you may feel symptoms of PTSD growing. Here are some factors to consider when making an insurance claim:

    Emotional trauma is an injury -  Most people think that only physical injuries are compensable. This is not true. Emotional trauma can impact your ability to work, function with family and friends, and enjoy life. PTSD symptoms can cause just as much hardship as a physical injury. Because of this, you should absolutely include PTSD when filing your claim.

    To get compensation for PTSD caused by another party's negligence, you'll first need to seek medical care for the condition. You'll need an official diagnosis that demonstrates PTSD is associated with the car wreck and further evidence that PTSD has negatively impacted your life.

    Your personal injury lawyer at Morgan and Morgan will work with you to determine how PTSD can be included under pain and suffering damages. You may be able to recover compensation for treatment like therapy and medications.

    Lost wages due to PTSD - Severe PTSD will almost certainly impact your ability to work. Fatigue, sleep disorders, depression, and flashbacks may make it impossible to return to work after an accident. In extreme cases, you may never be able to hold a job again, so lost income earning potential should be included in your claim. We can work with you to come up with a figure that accurately represents your losses.

  • Should I Settle While Recovering From PTSD?

    Suppose you develop PTSD from a car wreck. In that case, you should seek medical care and talk to a Morgan and Morgan personal injury attorney. After a car accident that results in PTSD, it's understandable to want to put the whole thing behind you. However, settling too quickly can make things even harder for you. PTSD takes a while to conquer, and you should consider future medical expenses before accepting a settlement. Morgan and Morgan's compassionate car accident attorneys will be able to help you figure out what kind of compensation is fitting for your pain and suffering.

    You deserve to be fairly compensated for the mental anguish you've been through and all the disruptions the car wreck has caused. We can help make that happen. We also take over all communication with the other party's insurance company to relieve that extra layer of stress. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. You don't pay unless we win.

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Last updated on May 03, 2023

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