Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Car Accidents

There are few experiences in life more stressful than being involved in a car accident. The tensing up we feel when bracing for impact goes far beyond tight muscles or even physical injuries. Post-traumatic stress disorder, better known as PTSD, can cause accident victims a tremendous amount of psychological damage. Long after fractures heal and bruises fade, the emotional impact of a crash can remain.

Though traditionally associated with soldiers who have witnessed the horrors of war, PTSD can occur to anyone who experiences trauma in some way, shape or form. Victims of burglaries often have symptoms of PTSD because of the lingering fear they have attached to the incident. So too can car accident victims. Even if you escaped a wreck physically unscathed, the emotional torment can significantly impact your life moving forward.

Understanding PTSD

Almost everyone experiences some form of stress in the wake of a car accident. Emotions run high in such situations. Many crash victims report flashbacks and nightmares for weeks after the incident. Post-traumatic stress disorder is more than flashback or nightmares, though. PTSD after a car accident often manifests in unexpected ways. Many victims avoid driving or even riding in vehicles for months after their crash. Intrusive thoughts about the incident can interrupt a victim’s focus, making it difficult for them to accomplish tasks at work.

Some PTSD victims struggle with a lot of negative self-talk after a wreck. They blame themselves for the crash, isolate themselves and feel overwhelmingly depressed or even suicidal. Others may tend to overreact over seemingly minor things. PTSD victims often report that they feel as though they are constantly on edge. This can cause sleeping problems, which in turn, impacts the way they function throughout the day.

Symptoms and Treatment

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and think you have PTSD, you should be on the lookout for symptoms including:

  • Emotional numbness
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Being easily agitated
  • Memory problems
  • Decreased interest in hobbies
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Inability to experience positive emotions
  • Exaggerated negatives beliefs about the world, oneself or others

Thankfully, there is hope for people with PTSD. Therapy can help restore a victim’s self-esteem, teach them coping skills to use during trying moments and improve overall symptoms. In some cases, a therapist may refer those with PTSD to a psychiatrist, who can prescribe antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications to help mitigate some of the symptoms of PTSD.

More work is being done each day to understand the way trauma impacts the brain. As the research becomes more thorough, the options for treatment also expand. Though therapy and antidepressants are the two primary forms of treatment, they are far from the only kinds available. Speak with your doctor about the options that are best for you.

Insurance Companies and Claim Denials

Insurance adjusters will look for any reason to deny a claim and save their company money. PTSD is often referred to as an invisible syndrome, one that’s easily dismissed because the physical damage just isn’t there. Insurance adjusters are on the lookout for medical fraud, and PTSD victims unfairly bear the weight of this pressure. Any inconsistencies on your medical record could give reason for the insurance company to deny your claim.

Unfortunately, the costs associated with treating PTSD aren’t as easily dismissed. Without the approval of an insurance claim, those with PTSD from a car accident may need to shell out payments for therapy and medication from their own pocket. Many go into medical debt seeking relief from their symptoms.

Find a Lawyer for Your PTSD Claim

It doesn’t have to be this way. An experienced car accident attorney can go to bat for you. Handling a car wreck claim is challenging enough on its own, but if you’re considering doing so while battling the symptoms of PTSD, you may find yourself fighting an uphill battle. By partnering with an experienced attorney, you can ensure that your rights are being fought for while you focus on resting and recuperating.

By working with a lawyer, you’ll gain an ally who will represent you in negotiations with insurance companies and with the negligent driver responsible for your crash. An attorney can also help you determine how much your case is worth and whether or not you should take an offer from the insurance company or fight for more. Compensation may be available for your hospital bills, therapy costs and any other damages you’ve suffered as a result of your accident.

Get started today by using our Car Accident Settlement Calculator. It’ll give you a good idea of how much your case might be worth. If you’re eager to connect with an experienced car wreck lawyer in your area, we can also help with that. By dialing 877-810-4067, you’ll reach one of our helpful employees. They’re eager to get you on the road to redemption today.