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In: Auto Accidents

Can Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Occur After a Serious Car Crash?

Individuals who experience a serious motor vehicle accident are at increased risk for psychological problems, particularly Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Furthermore, the American Psychological Association reports that PTSD caused by car crashes and other traumas is a serious mental health problem and must be appropriately diagnosed. The compassionate legal team at Ged Lawyers, LLP, is dedicated to protecting the rights of injured victims, and advocating on their behalf to obtain the appropriate compensation for any mental pain and suffering they have endured as a result of a car accident.

Mental pain and suffering

When an individual sustains a serious car crash, that individual often experiences mental pain and suffering due to the trauma and physical pain endured in the accident. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the negative emotions that is recognized as a consequence of experiencing a motor vehicle accident.

What is PTSD?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a frightening, shocking, or dangerous event. While many people recover naturally from the fear triggers and body responses that occur during and after a traumatic event, those individuals who continue to experience symptoms may be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Those who experience PTSD may have feelings of being afraid and stressed in the absence of any real danger.

Symptoms of PTSD

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) usually begin within 3 months of the traumatic event, according to the NIH, but sometimes begin years later. To be diagnosed with PTSD, an adult must exhibit all of the following symptoms for more than one month and be serious enough to hinder work or relationships:

  • A minimum of one re-experiencing symptom such as bad dreams, frightening thoughts, or flashbacks where the individual relives the trauma over and over again along with physical symptoms such as sweating or a racing heart
  • A minimum of one avoidance symptom such as staying away from events, places, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic experience; or avoiding feelings or thoughts that are related to the traumatic event
  • A minimum of two cognition and mood symptoms including difficulty remembering key features of the traumatic event, distorted feelings such as blame or guilt, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, or experiencing negative thoughts about oneself or the world
  • A minimum of two arousal and reactivity symptoms including feeling tense, difficulty sleeping, being easily startled, and having angry outbursts

Development of the illness varies, with some individuals recovering from PTSD within six months of the event, and others experiencing symptoms for a longer period of time. In some cases, the PTSD becomes chronic.

Dedicated accident attorneys protect your rights

The aftermath of a serious car crash can be an extremely difficult time for the accident victim and family members. At Ged Lawyers, LLP, we understand. Our dedicated accident attorneys have served Florida families since 1995, advocating on their behalf and protecting their rights under the law. If you or a loved one has experienced a serious car accident and is suffering from PTSD as a result, we can help. Contact our office at 844-443-3529 or online to arrange for a free case review with a member of our team to discuss your case.