Can I get PTSD from a car accident?

The squealing of brakes. The crashing of metal. The shattering of glass. These sounds alone can conjure feelings of fear and trigger a fight, flight, or freeze response. Add in the possibility of cracking bones, cut skin, and other injuries and it is no surprise that those who are injured during a serious motor vehicle accident find themselves wondering about the possibility of experiencing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after the crash.

Is it possible to get PTSD from a car crash?

Although often associated with those who serve in the military in active war zones, the fact is accident survivors can also suffer from PTSD. Research finds that those who are involved in a serious car accident are at increased risk of PTSD.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is an anxiety order that can follow a traumatic event. Car accidents can qualify. Symptoms of PTSD after a car crash can include intrusive thoughts and recurring nightmares about the accident.

Those who suffer from PTSD after an accident are not alone. Recent research found that of the individuals studied with PTSD, the vast majority was the result of a serious auto accident. The researchers estimated that 2.5 to 7 million Americans had motor vehicle accident related PTSD.

What options are available for those who suffer from PTSD?

Thankfully, research is also available on which tools and treatment options work best for individuals with PTSD. Therapy can help. Although general, supportive therapy is helpful research shows that a specific type of therapy, cognitive behavioral treatment or CBT, is most useful.

Unfortunately, insurance does not always cover the cost of therapy. Those who are injured in a car accident may have a legal claim against the other driver. This can result in funds to help cover the cost of medical care and therapy. An attorney experienced in these types of cases can help victims get fair compensation to help cover these costs.


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