Personal Injury Blog

Can PTSD Occur After An Accident?

Motor vehicle accidents among the leading causes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Anyone who has ever been involved in a car accident knows the emotional damages can be just as bad, or even worse than the physical damages sustained. It is common to experience psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, fear, and stress after being involved in an automobile accident. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for the general population. And according to the National Center for PTSD, there are more than 3 million injuries from motor vehicle accidents each year, and studies have found that about 9% of the motor vehicle accident survivors develop PTSD.

What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

You may think of PTSD only when you think of traumatized war veterans, but the truth is PTSD can be experienced by anyone who has experienced any type of traumatic event, even if it was a single-incident trauma such as a car accident. It is normal for someone who has experienced a trauma to experience some sorts of stress-related symptoms after the event, but if the symptoms do not go away, or they continue to become worse, that person may be experiencing PTSD. PTSD is a mental health issue which occurs after a person is exposed to or has experienced an event involving either an actual or perceived threat of death or serious injury, to which they responded with an intense fear, horror, or helplessness. Symptoms must continue for more than 30 days and must also cause significant distress or impaired functioning to be classified as PTSD.

What are common symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD is characterized by a very specific group of symptoms. While the individual symptoms experienced within each group can vary, the primary group of symptoms are typically seen when a person is suffering from PTSD. The primary group of symptoms include:

  • Intrusion symptoms – these symptoms are characterized by re-experiencing the event through memories, nightmares, and flashbacks.
  • Avoidance – these symptoms are characterized by a persistent effort to avoid distressing stimuli related to the trauma incident such as avoidance of thoughts and feelings related to the traumatic incident or avoidance of reminders of the trauma such as people, places, or things.
  • Hyper-arousal – this group of symptoms is characterized by negative changes in arousal or activity such as irritable or aggressive behavior, self-destructive or reckless behavior, problems concentrating, and problems with sleeping.
  • Negative changes in mood and thinking – this group of symptoms can be characterized by a variety of changes including the inability to recall important details about the event, negative views and expectations of oneself or the world, self-blame, negative emotions such as fear, anger, or guilt, feelings of alienation or detachment from others, and an inability to experience positive emotions such as happiness.

While it may be normal to experience some of these symptoms immediately following an automobile accident, the symptoms should lessen or subside over time. If you find yourself continuing to feel these symptoms without improvement, or your symptoms worsen you may be suffering from PTSD. If you are experiencing these symptoms you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

Automobile accidents and PTSD claims

If you have been involved in an automobile accident and are experiencing symptoms of PTSD afterwards, you may have a personal injury claim and a right to compensation for your injuries. Compensation you can receive for a personal injury claim of PTSD resulting from a car accident include:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

Every case is unique and your right to compensation may vary based on the circumstances of your case. You should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to review the details of your case with you.

Compassionate New Jersey automobile accident attorneys who care about you receiving the complete compensation you need to recover.

If you have been involved in a car accident and are now suffering from PTSD, you need a dedicated personal injury lawyer prepared to advocate for your rights and to recover the compensation you deserve. The Board-Certified New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Leonard Legal Group, LLC have more than 25 years of experience obtaining real results for motor vehicle accident and post-traumatic stress disorder victims. Our reputation as compassionate lawyers who are aggressive at trial has been earned by our relentless pursuit of justice for our clients. Call us today at 973-984-1414 or contact us online to review your rights to the compensation you deserve. We are proud to serve Morristown and all surrounding areas.