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Could you have PTSD after a car accident?

It is certainly possible to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after getting involved in a car accident. After all, a serious car crash will likely be the most traumatic event of the average person’s life. PTSD is more likely if there are significant injuries or if someone else passes away in the accident.

It’s important to point out that this can happen because physical symptoms often get more attention than emotional trauma or psychological symptoms. But PTSD can certainly be life-changing and is a very real condition that may need medical treatment. It should not be ignored or overlooked.

What are PTSD symptoms?

Post-traumatic stress disorder can manifest differently from one individual to the next. Some potential symptoms include:

  • Intrusive thoughts and memories
  • Nightmares and other sleep disturbances
  • Flashbacks of the crash
  • Avoidance behavior – including not being able to drive a car any longer
  • An exaggerated startle response
  • Increased anxiety and irritability, especially when in a vehicle

The way that PTSD changes a person’s life depends on the symptoms that they have. For instance, someone may struggle with suicidal thoughts and need to spend time seeing a therapist, leading to medical costs for years to come. Someone else may practice extreme avoidance of potential risks, such as never riding in the car again, meaning that they can no longer live their life as they choose or hold down a job.

In this way, PTSD can lead to medical bills and lost wages, along with potential lost future earnings. Those who have been injured due to the negligence of other drivers need to know how to seek financial compensation.