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Can You Get PTSD From a Car Accident?

By Eugene Bruno on May 5, 2021

PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder that can occur after a person experiences a traumatic event or serious injury. It can occur in about half of all people who are injured in car accidents. PTSD may adversely affect your overall recovery following a car accident. Without treatment, PTSD can make it difficult to return to your regular activities of daily living. A PTSD diagnosis must be made by a physician based on specific behaviors or symptoms, including:

  • Re-experiencing the traumatic event, including nightmares, flashbacks or intrusive memories;
  • Avoiding situations which remind you of the original trauma, reluctance to talk or think about the original trauma, or feeling emotionally “numb” about the event; and,
  • Increased irritability, anger, difficulty concentrating, and/or insomnia.

If symptoms last at least 1 month and are severe enough to cause a noticeable change in your behavior, you may be suffering from PTSD. PTSD can occur in persons of any age and there are certain high risk groups (if you are female or if you are of Hispanic origin). Typically, PTSD is treated with therapy or medications, including anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications.

Recognizing the symptoms of PTSD early offers the best chance of effective treatment. Unfortunately, many primary care and family practice doctors may not recognize the signs of PTSD and remain unaware of prevention and treatment strategies. As a result, your recovery may be delayed and your chances of a full recovery may be diminished.

If you have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident and you think you may be experiencing some of the above symptoms, talk to your doctor about what you are feeling, which could be early signs of PTSD. If you, or someone you know, have been injured in a motor vehicle or other accident, I encourage you to call our office to discuss your case or to schedule a consultation to discuss your rights.