Developing PTSD after a Car Accident
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. People who have been involved in car accidents understand that the experience can be extremely traumatic. While there is the potential for someone to develop numerous injuries, along with property damage, some of the most serious wounds aren’t entirely visible. Some people who have been involved in road traffic crashes can develop post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD.
What is PTSD?
PTSD describes a mental and psychological issue that someone might experience following a traumatic event. Multiple stressors could trigger this state in someone. It is commonly seen in military veterans or people who have experienced other serious events, such as sexual abuse or an auto accident. Someone who has PTSD may notice a variety of symptoms, including:
Trouble Sleeping: People with PTSD could have trouble sleeping because they spend a significant amount of time thinking or worrying about the event. This stress could wake them up at night or make it challenging to fall asleep in the first place. This can cause them to feel chronically fatigued.
Repeated Flashbacks: People with PTSD canexperience recurrent flashbacks of the trauma that they experienced. These may possibly involve images of catastrophic personal injuries that they suffered or of their friends who died in a car accident or battlefield. This can impact their ability to function in everyday life.
Difficulty with Social Gatherings: When someone has PTSD, there are a variety of triggers that can send them back into that flashback state. For many people, this involves areas with loud noises. This means that at social gatherings, they could have trouble socializing with the crowd without having mental stress that incapacitates them.
These are only a few of the many different symptoms that someone with PTSD might experience. Their traumatic injuries can lead to a mental disorder that could impact his or her life and the lives of their loved ones.
Who is at Risk for PTSD?
After reviewing extensive studies and articles related to PTSD, researchers found some common predictors for the development of PTSD. These include:
Persistent Thinking About the Event: Those who think incessantly about the trauma that they experienced are at increased risk of developing PTSD. This includes feelings of regret or wishing that they could go back and change what happened.
Perceived Threat to Life: Those who think that they experienced a “close call” when they were involved in an accident are at an increased risk of suffering from PTSD. This includes those who survived an accident after receiving intensive medical care or who were resuscitated at the scene.
Lack of Social Support: If the people involved in the accident does not have a strong support system of family and friends to help them recover after the trauma they experienced, then they could end up developing PTSD.
Prior Episodes of Depression: Someone who suffers from depression before getting involved in a road traffic accident, or who had depression in the past, are more likely to develop PTSD than their counterparts.
Current Anxiety Disorder: If someone suffers from anxiety, they are more likely to develop PTSD in a traumatic accident than someone without the disorder. This could be anxiety about social situations, work or life.
Ancillary Fatality During the Event: Even if people survive the accident, if there was someone else who died during the event, the survivors are more likely to develop PTSD than traumatic events that do not have fatalities involved.
Watch YouTube Video: Car Crashes and PTSD. This video features a clip from Radio Health Journal which discusses how PTSD develops after traumatic car crashes.
Best Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious problem that impacts numerous people. If you or a loved one is suffering from this disorder, please call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
I’m a member of the California chapter of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Our verdicts and settlements from prior cases are available for viewing.
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