Can a person get PTSD from a car accident?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Every day in cities like Winona, Mississippi, and throughout the United States, people are involved in automobile accidents. Sadly, some of these accidents result in serious injuries or fatalities. Because these collisions are so traumatic, automobile accidents are ranked among some of the most common reasons people experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What does car accident-related PTSD look like?

PTSD used to be called “shell shock,” as it was thought to be primarily experienced by individuals who fought in a war. However, this psychiatric disorder can affect anyone who has experienced trauma, including trauma caused by motor vehicle accidents.

Most people experience symptoms of PTSD a short time after the collision. However, some people may not experience the symptoms for months or even years following the accident. The four primary symptom categories of PTSD include:

  • Intrusive memories
  • Avoidance
  • Changes in mood and thought
  • Changes to emotional or physical reactions

In the aftermath of an accident, a person may replay the traumatic event in their mind, experiencing upsetting dreams or flashbacks. They may avoid getting into a car or think negatively about themselves and others. A person with PTSD can be easily frightened, feeling like there is danger around every corner.

Help for those with automobile accident-related PTSD

Generally, a psychological exam is used to diagnose PTSD. When a diagnosis is made, cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, medications, and other therapies can be used to help people with PTSD to cope with the trauma.

Some individuals have been able to receive compensation for PTSD directly related to a car accident where the other driver was at fault.

A traumatic accident can be life-changing. Thankfully, tools and professionals can help someone dealing with auto accident-related PTSD heal and make their lives whole again.