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Is PTSD After a Motor Vehicle Accident Real? if So, What Do I Do?

Steven R. Andrade Jan. 11, 2016

Being involved in a car accident may result in immediate physical injuries, such as broken bones, a traumatic brain injury, and bruises and lacerations. A car accident also can cause less obvious psychological injury in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. If you have been involved in a car accident in Santa Barbara or Southern California, here is what you need to know about PTSD after an auto accident.

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological condition and anxiety disorder often associated with veterans of combat. Anyone who has been involved in a sudden traumatic event, car accident or assault in which they were frightened for their life can develop PTSD, including survivors of disasters, or other serious events, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health,. Individuals who experience a serious motor vehicle accident are at an increased risk of developing PTSD and other psychological problems, according to Assessment and treatment of PTSD after a motor vehicle collision: Empirical finding and clinical observations. You may need medical care to deal with PTSD and keep it from disrupting your life.

The Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder can cause many symptoms, and a sufferer of the condition may not display all symptoms at a given time. It can disrupt your ability to work and get along with others, if not treated. Some of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder include:

  • Flashbacks, bad dreams, and frightening thoughts about the accident;

  • Avoidance of driving or riding in cars;

  • Feeling emotionally ‘numb';

  • Experiencing guilt or depression;

  • Blocking out or denying the car accident;

  • Feeling on edge;

  • Startling easily;

  • Angry outbursts; and

  • Sleeping difficulties.

A child who is involved in a car accident and develops PTSD, as a result, may experience slightly different symptoms than an adult, including wetting of the bed, separation anxiety, forgetting how to talk, acting out the accident, or drawing pictures of the accident.

Treatment for PTSD

Living with post-traumatic stress disorder is possible. According to the National Center for PTSD, treatments for victims who are suffering from PTSD after an auto accident include behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and medications. Your psychologist can work with you to determine the best treatment option for your PTSD after your car accident. If you are a car accident victim and believe that you are suffering from PTSD, you should seek help from a mental health professional as soon as possible.

Seeking Compensation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress order can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars of psychiatrist fees and treatment costs and lost work time. Because of this, you should take into account your PTSD and seek compensation for your medical costs related to it when you are filing a car accident claim. You deserve to be compensated for all of your medical bills, physical pain, and emotional suffering when the car accident you were involved in would not have occurred but for the negligence of another person.

Contact a Southern California Car Accident Attorney Now

If you are a car accident victim in California, do not hesitate to contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Andrade Law Offices. Our car accident attorneys will work hard to help you file a claim that seeks the full damages that you deserve, including compensation for your post-traumatic stress disorder. To learn more about how we can help you, contact our team today online, or by calling us now.