Sustaining PTSD as a Result of a Car Accident

Car accidents can result in serious and long-lasting injuries for victims. When most people think of car accident injuries, they think of traumas like broken bones, head injuries, bruises, lacerations, spinal cord injuries, and more. However, there are other types of injuries associated with motor vehicle crashes that are not considered as often, including severe emotional and psychological injuries. Accidents involving high speeds and significant injuries can result in crash victims suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is important to understand what PTSD is and how it can affect those who are suffering.

Car accident mental trauma injuries

Research has indicated that approximately 9% of people who get into a car accident develop symptoms of PTSD. If we look at the statistics from the latest reporting year in Tennessee, we can see that there were more than 200,000 total vehicle crashes. Out of those, there were:

  • 48,056 injury crashes
  • 997 fatal crashes

Many of the injuries suffered by Tennessee car crash victims were severe. Statistically speaking, it is likely that many of these victims developed PTSD in the aftermath of their crash.

Other studies have shown that a vehicle accident does not have to be severe or cause physical injuries at all for a person to develop psychological complications.

The symptoms of PTSD

The signs and symptoms of PTSD vary from person to person. For some people, all of the following signs may be present. For others, maybe only one or two of them may occur.

  • Intrusion – this occurs when a car accident victim experiences recurrent recollections of the car crash. This can be like a movie reel replaying the entire scene or short burst of recollection. Intrusion can seem very real for the person experiencing it.
  • Arousal – this occurs when the car accident victim stays in a heightened state of alertness and can include hyper-vigilance, paranoia, an inability to focus, and sleep disturbances.
  • Numbing – this occurs when the car accident victim keeps an emotional distance from those closest to them. It can be accompanied by feelings of depression, hopelessness, and an inability to feel emotions of any kind.
  • Avoidance – this includes a car accident victim avoiding anything related to the incident, including where it happened, the people who were present, and other circumstances related to the crash.

Treatment for PTSD

Treatment for PTSD is based on the severity and symptoms present for each particular person and will be determined by a medical or behavioral specialist. Recovery is typically focused on restoring the victim’s nervous system back to a state of pre-trauma balance. This could be done through a combination of the following:

  • Personal sessions with a therapist
  • Medication treatments
  • Support for positive social interactions

PTSD cannot usually be fully cured but it can become manageable for the victim. Treatment can lessen the symptoms and allow a person to lead a relatively normal life. There may be a need for long-term or even lifelong care.

Is compensation available for PTSD caused by a car accident?

There are various types of compensation available in the aftermath of a car accident, and you should speak to a qualified and experienced Nashville car accident attorney. Compensation is available for emotional and psychological damages caused by the negligence of another driver. It will need to be proven that the PTSD was a result of the incident and it can be difficult to properly calculate the cost associated with PTSD. Your attorney, with the help of medical professionals, can work to determine the value of all car accident damages.