Are You Suffering From PTSD After a Motor Vehicle Accident?

05th April 2023     Sophia Hogg

Are You Suffering From PTSD After a Motor Vehicle Accident

You could have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a motor vehicle accident. The American Psychological Association (APA) considers motor vehicle accidents the leading cause of PTSD in the general population. Another study says that PTSD exists in 25-33% of motor vehicle accident survivors at least 30 days after the accident.

If you’ve been diagnosed and treated for PTSD after a car accident, you should know you may receive compensation for that and any other injuries. You should contact an auto accident lawyer to learn more about the compensation you may receive for having PTSD due to a car accident. 

What Is PTSD?

PTSD is a mental disorder that manifests when a traumatic event is witnessed or experienced. You’ve probably heard about it pertaining to military personnel, but the general public may experience PTSD too. PTSD may last for years, and, in some cases, symptoms do not appear for months or even years after the traumatic event.

Symptoms may disappear within weeks or months or may be a life-long disorder. However, if diagnosed after a psychological exam and criteria outlined by the American Psychiatric Association, therapy or medication often helps treat PTSD patients to either make the symptoms more manageable or no longer experience PTSD. 

How PTSD Affects Those With the Disorder

PTSD may prevent a person from participating in routine activities. Their symptoms keep them isolated and fearful of participating in activities, diminishing their quality of life. When someone has PTSD, especially after a vehicle accident, they experience several symptoms, such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Intense fear 
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Recurring nightmares
  • Flashbacks of the accident
  • Avoidance behaviors like avoiding driving
  • Irritability
  • Intrusive memories

Patients with PTSD may also have difficulty getting an appropriate diagnosis and treatment, prolonging their suffering because the symptoms of PTSD are challenging to understand, either by the patient or the medical establishment. And if medical professionals find it hard to discern whether a patient has PTSD or a traumatic brain injury, insurance companies will have difficulty understanding PTSD and allowing for compensation.

According to the APA, people who do not receive mental health treatment within six years after a trauma continue to suffer from PTSD up to 10 years after the initial trauma. And if PTSD is not diagnosed or if misdiagnosed, a person could have life-long PTSD.

The Correlation Between Motor Vehicle Accidents and PTSD

When you’re in a serious car accident, noises, smells, sights, and feelings occur during and after the collision. For example, you might experience loud noises or the smell of gasoline during a car accident. In addition, you may have badly injured.

Experiencing loud noises or the smell of gasoline days, weeks, or months after the accident may trigger intense fear, anxiety, or other unnatural behavior. Your behaviors will reflect your adverse reactions to these triggers. For example, the smell of gasoline may make you nauseous, or loud noises may bring about an intense fear. If you were severely injured in an auto accident, this could make you avoid driving because of the intense fear of feeling the pain of your injuries.

How to Overcome Your PTSD After a Motor Vehicle Accident

During a study that involved accident survivors who had an accident 14 months before starting therapy, researchers found that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) had a success rate of 75% when applied to these participants. Brief supportive psychotherapy may also be a form of treatment. However, it is less effective than CBT. Still, it is effective in treating patients on a waitlist for CBT or other therapies because it’s better than no treatment. 

Exposure therapy and eye movement desensitization, and reprocessing therapy are forms of therapies that help too. For example, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy help people with PTSD face memories by using guided eye movements to change reactions to traumatic memories.

A combination of psychological and pharmaceutical medications will benefit accident survivors with PTSD and other problems, such as depression, chronic pain, and sleep problems. Examples of medications physicians may prescribe to relieve PTSD symptoms are antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and Prazosin to suppress nightmares.

Consult Auto Accident Attorney Dale Rose About Your PTSD Today 

If you need advice on how to be compensated for PTSD resulting from an auto accident, turn to Dale Rose. He is an expert in ensuring his clients are compensated for medical issues. As a result, he will be able to help you get compensated for any of your medical injuries, including PTSD, that result from a vehicle accident.
Through personalized service and contact with you, Dale Rose will help you understand your rights and explain your options. To take advantage of a free consultation about your case, contact Dale Rose at (972) 634-ROSE (7673) or complete our contact form.


Dale R. Rose

Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, has been a victim of a workplace accident, or any other personal injury, Dale Rose is the best attorney for you in McKinney, Texas. With 25+ years of experience, Dale is committed to helping you get the compensation & justice you deserve.

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