Auto accidents can cause serious injuries to both passengers and drivers. When an accident wasn’t your fault, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and property damage. However, many car accident victims suffer another type of injury that isn’t immediately visible. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can cause a multitude of emotional issues, and for some people it’s severe enough to disrupt their daily and professional lives.
Symptoms of PTSD after an accident
After a car wreck or motorcycle accident, some individuals can develop some of the symptoms related to PTSD. Signs and symptoms can develop over days or weeks. If you or a loved one were involved in an accident, keep an eye out for the following:
- Reliving the accident. Victims may have nightmares, flashbacks, visual or auditory memories, or intrusive thoughts.
- Emotional difficulties. People with PTSD may experience emotional issues stemming from the accident, like avoiding the location of the accident, forgetting the details of the accident, detaching from friends or family, or becoming preoccupied with impending dangers.
- Psychological issues. After an accident, PTSD may cause a person to experience psychological and physiological effects like increased heart rate, anxiety, irritability, or sudden outbursts of anger.
- Personality changes. PTSD can also cause mood swings and personality changes, or irrational fears like being afraid to drive or ride in a vehicle.
Anyone can experience post-traumatic stress disorder from any type of accident or trauma.
Do some people have a higher risk of developing PTSD?
Some people can experience a traumatic event and are able to return to normal life. However, some do not and can develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Although researchers aren’t sure what causes PTSD in some and not others, the PTSD Alliance recognizes these risk factors:
- How an individual’s brain controls hormones and chemicals in stressful situations
- Inherited risks of depression or anxiety
- The temperament or personality of an individual
- The level of severe trauma experienced during and since early childhood
- Family instability, lack of a social support system, or poverty
- Women are twice as likely to develop PTSD than men
- Having a pre-existing emotional or mental health disorder, eating disorder, or drug/alcohol abuse
- Sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea
Accident victims also tend to develop PTSD when they experience serious physical injury, if they felt their life was in extreme danger during the accident, or if they witnessed the death of a loved one or another individual involved in the accident.
Compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder
PTSD is a recognized and serious mental health condition. Victims can require ongoing treatment and counseling, and may be temporarily unable to work and earn a paycheck. If an accident was caused by another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for this type of injury, as well as any physical injury.
At Mezrano Law Firm, our Alabama car crash attorneys protect your right to compensation when you suffer injury in a car accident. We understand that PTSD is a real and serious injury, and we’ll fight for you. To set up a free consultation, give us a call today at 205-206-6300, or leave us a message through our contact form. We offer our services to residents of Mobile, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Florence, Montgomery, and Gadsden.