There is no question that car accidents can be extremely stressful, but if the accident involved serious injuries or fatalities, victims may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is a psychological condition brought on after a particularly traumatic experience. Whether the victim was directly involved in the incident, or witnessed the event first-hand, it can have a similar impact on the person’s mental health. According to research, approximately nine percent of car accident victims develop PTSD. If you are suffering from emotional trauma following a car accident, a skilled car accident lawyer can recommend the best legal course of action.
Common Symptoms of PTSD
PTSD affects people in different ways; some may experience bad dreams or anxiety, whereas other victims may hallucinate or become paranoid. PTSD is characterized by the following types of symptoms:
- Intrusion: The victim experiences recurring memories of the trauma, also known as flashbacks.
- Numbing: The victim distances themselves from others and often experiences feelings of depression, hopelessness, and an inability to express emotions.
- Avoidance: The victim begins to avoid people, places, or anything else that may remind them of the trauma. In some cases, this can develop into social phobias, panic, and anxiety.
- Arousal: Victims are constantly alert and hyper-vigilant, which can lead to a loss of sleep, an inability to focus, and paranoia.
Other symptoms may include:
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Mood fluctuations
- Chronic fatigue
- Compulsive/obsessive behaviors
- Social withdrawal
Not every victim in a serious car accident is going to develop PTSD. However, there are several risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing PTSD, including the following:
- Being involved in or witnessing another traumatic event
- Having an existing psychological condition prior to the traumatic event
- Family history of mental illness
- The trauma caused life-threatening injuries or fatalities
- A lack of support following the trauma
- Experiencing dissociation during the trauma
There are a range of treatment options, including medication, therapy, or a combination of the two. While one person may have great success with medication, others may respond better to intensive therapy. For example, immersion therapy involves confronting certain situations or behaviors that the PTSD sufferer has been avoiding. There is no quick fix for PTSD, so it is important to commit to treatment that helps.
Like any other car accident injury, it is crucial that you seek immediate treatment if you have any symptoms of PTSD. If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, you may be eligible to collect compensation for the costs associated with the treatment of your PTSD, and any pain and suffering you experienced.
St. Clair County Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Represent Car Accident Victims Suffering from PTSD
If you or someone you love is suffering from PTSD following a serious car accident, the St. Clair County accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC can help. We will work tirelessly to secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve and ensure that your legal rights are always protected. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 618-277-3644 or contact us online. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we represent clients throughout Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.