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If you suffer from someone else’s negligence, it’s important to understand your rights. Learn more about how a car accident attorney can be an advocate for your best interests.
From repairs and medical expenses to appointments with a variety of professionals, there’s a lot to deal with after a collision. Often, people find themselves more concerned with their finances than their physical accident injuries. Still, they don’t always consider the mental impact and trauma of an accident.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is something people often brush off after a car wreck because they associate it with veterans who saw combat. However, there is a clear prevalence of PTSD in car accident victims.
The truth of the matter is that people experience PTSD from just about any traumatic event. Experts find that the experience of a car accident is comparable to those of people who survive a flood or an earthquake.
Additionally, the impact of PTSD extends far beyond someone’s emotional distress. Much like a fractured bone, your mental well-being requires treatment and recovery. Those who suffer from PTSD might deal with mood swings, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and more.
Unfortunately, these symptoms find their way into their everyday lives, which causes additional depression and anxiety.
After a severe car accident, PTSD has a significant impact on people’s lives. However, insurance companies often try to dismiss, deny, or invalidate these claims.
What Is PTSD?
Per the American Psychiatric Association (APA), PTSD is a mental health condition that impacts those who experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. The causes behind PTSD range quite widely, from natural disasters to assaults to acts of war.
In fact, the APA estimates that about 3.5% of adults in the U.S.A. currently suffer from PTSD. Additionally, about 10% of people are likely to receive a diagnosis of PTSD at some point in their life. Moreover, women are two times as likely to suffer from PTSD as men.
The Symptoms Of PTSD
Unlike physical injuries you might suffer in a car accident, it’s difficult to notice the symptoms of PTSD for days or even weeks. However, they tend to last for anywhere from a few weeks to years.
This condition manifests in a variety of ways, and not everyone who suffers from it has the same symptoms. Moreover, they can vary in intensity based on the individual’s history. However, there are a few common symptoms to watch for.
It’s completely reasonable to want to avoid something that caused you pain. However, when it comes to a car accident, that interferes with your life quite significantly. From refusing to drive on highways or getting into a car at all, it comes in a variety of forms.
These behaviors reinforce the idea that driving is a danger, locking you in a cycle of fear. After a severe collision, you might also avoid the individuals in the car with you. In some cases, this means the victim distances themselves from their friends and family.
The location of the accident, talking about the incident, or sharing your feelings are all forms of avoidance common to PTSD in car accident victims. These fears can lead to antisocial tendencies as well.
Alienation & Detachment
Speaking of antisocial behavior, those who suffer from PTSD often isolate themselves. This helps them avoid the people or places that remind them of the trauma. In some cases, they also feel too different or unable to relate with other people.
When we experience trauma, our brains try to suppress or disconnect from the memories of the event as a way to cope. Dissociation is when this continually impairs someone’s awareness, leaving them “zoned out.”
In fact, this can happen during the incident or even shortly after. It’s similar to the adrenaline masking your physical pain. Dissociation offers a temporary mask that hides your mental suffering.
That’s why it is crucial to seek help immediately.
For some PTSD victims, intrusive thoughts present in different ways. Some common examples are nightmares or flashbacks about the event.
Hypersensitivity & Hypervigilance
After a traumatic event, people might have intense reactions (often negative) to touch, sounds, or sights. In some cases, they have a difficult time controlling their reaction to these stimulants. Additionally, it can cause angry outbursts over seemingly small issues or even self-destructive behavior.
Lastly, PTSD is not a solo act in every case. Often, it occurs alongside other conditions.
- Instability or mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
- Drug abuse
- Alcohol abuse
- Memory issues
- Inability to focus
Seeking Compensation For PTSD & Car Accidents
When you deal with PTSD after a car accident, it’s difficult to find the energy to deal with stubborn insurance adjusters. Luckily, an experienced car accident attorney can be your advocate. With the right representation, you have a team that focuses on your claim while you focus on your own mental and physical recovery.
When your PTSD causes you to withdraw from life or simply miss work, that damages your ability to function as you did before the incident. Remember that you don’t have to shoulder the burden of your bills in addition to your mental anguish.
An experienced legal team handles the details of your claim and builds a strategy to help you find the justice and compensation you deserve. Your PTSD is a real condition, and you deserve help.
Never allow insurance adjusters to tell you otherwise.