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Can a Car Accident Cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Posted on in Car Accidents

IL accident lawyerPost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by a frightening experience. A person may suffer from PTSD after being directly involved in a terrifying incident or even after simply witnessing it. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 39 percent of car crash victims develop PTSD.

A motor vehicle crash can be a sudden and devastating event for a driver and passengers to go through. The aftermath of a car accident may include injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, or whiplash. However, victims can also exhibit characteristics of PTSD in the days, weeks, or months following the crash. This can significantly affect their day-to-day living. That is why it is imperative to seek medical treatment and legal guidance for pain and suffering, especially if the accident was due to the negligent behavior of another driver.

Symptoms of PTSD

Many people who are involved in automobile accidents are able to recover from their injuries in a few weeks. For example, a fractured or broken leg can be fixed by wearing a cast for approximately 30 days. It is normal to feel some anxiety after being involved in an auto collision. Some crash survivors, however, suffer emotionally and mentally for an extended period of time due to the traumatic nature of a crash.

The most common PTSD symptoms are typically grouped into four categories:

  • Intrusive memories: Recurring and troublesome flashbacks or nightmares of the accident, causing extreme emotional distress
  • Avoidance: Attempts to avoid thinking or talking about the incident, including abstaining from driving a car or not wanting to be an occupant
  • Negative thoughts and mood: Thoughts of hopelessness, detachment, memory loss
  • Physical and emotional reactions: Insomnia, trouble concentrating, irritability, guilt, easily startled, excessive eating or drinking

Every situation is unique, and in some cases, an individual may not experience symptoms until months or even years later. Regardless of when they present, these symptoms can interfere with a victim’s personal and professional life. If the collision resulted in the wrongful death of a loved one, this may only increase the likelihood of PTSD. If someone is having suicidal thoughts of any kind, it is critical that he or she seek immediate attention from a medical professional.

Contact a Bloomingdale Personal Injury Lawyer

PTSD is a serious condition that affects many people on a daily basis. It can lead to an inability to work or resume normal activities. If you or your loved one is suffering from PTSD after a vehicle crash that was caused by another motorist, it is important to seek medical as well as legal help. A seasoned Bloomingdale car accident attorney will guide you through the often complicated legal steps of pursuing a personal injury claim against a negligent driver. The Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C. will thoroughly review the details of your case to ensure you receive the compensation you need and deserve. Call us today at 630-665-5678 to schedule your free consultation.




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