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When car accidents result in PTSD

You probably began your day thinking that it was going to be just another ordinary day. Then, out of nowhere, another vehicle struck yours. You suffered physical injuries that kept you from working for a while, and you still have medical bills and other damages to pay for as well.

The problem is that as time goes by and your physical injuries heal, you still can't get past the accident. You may feel better physically, but mentally and emotionally, you continue to struggle. Is it possible you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder?

What signs should you look for?

If you suspect that you may suffer from PTSD, you may want to look for the following signs:

  • When you get into a car, you startle easily and feel jumpy and edgy.
  • You constantly feel as though threats are everywhere while on the road.
  • Your heart races and you get anxious when thinking about the accident.
  • If you hear screeching brakes or honking horns, you become fearful.
  • You may even avoid driving or riding in a car due to the fear of another accident.

The first thing you should know is that these reactions are normal. However, if they persist or worsen, it could be PTSD.

What puts you more at risk than someone else?

Not everyone involved in a car accident suffers from PTSD. You may have friends or family members who wonder why you can't move past it like they did. That may be due to one or more of the following circumstances:

  • You may have lost a friend or family member in the accident.
  • Your injuries may have been life threatening.
  • This wasn't the first traumatic event in your life.

Some people who suffer from PTSD after a car accident already suffered from psychological difficulties or were prone to them due to family history. Research estimates that approximately nine percent of car accident victims throughout the country develop symptoms related to PTSD. Moreover, for those who live through car accidents and seek mental health counseling afterward, approximately 60 percent of them receive a PTSD diagnosis. You are certainly not alone.

What can you do about it?

You may find some relief by seeking treatment. Seeking support has helped many people through this type of trauma, which can feel debilitating at times. If you decide to pursue compensation for the injuries you suffered due to the negligence of another party, you may also list PTSD as one such injury.

Providing evidence to a Florida court of the mental and emotional trauma you suffer as a result of the crash may prove to be a challenge. Fortunately, the legal process is another area in which you could seek support to increase your chances of getting your life back on track.

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