Yes, you can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a car accident. Car accidents can be terrifying and leave an emotional and physical mark on your life. While physical wounds may heal over time, emotional pain can take years and lifelong coping strategies to heal.
If you have been in a car accident, and you have developed PTSD, a Fort Myers car accident attorney at Viles & Beckman can help you get compensation for your emotional damages as well as physical ones.
When you try to deal with PTSD alone after a car accident, it can be a stressful and scary situation. We are here to help you recover financially so that you can return to your life.
Car Crashes and Emotional Stress
Far too often, people who get into a car accident in Fort Myers feel as though they are unable to do anything to get compensation because they may not have visible physical injuries. You think that if you are not hurt on the outside, you can’t take legal action against the negligent party for the severe mental and emotional distress you’re going through. But this is not true.
It’s important to know that your emotional pain is valid. And you can sustain emotional damage, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is a difficult condition to endure and is more common than people think after a car crash.
PTSD Is Not Usually Associated With Car Accidents
For years, people only associated PTSD with military veterans returning from war, but that is not the only way a person can develop the condition. It is an emotional condition that impacts anyone who goes through a trying and stressful situation that incites fear or anxiety.A car accident is a perfect example of this.
Survivors of car accidents may associate various sights and sounds with a severe car crash they were involved in, and it causes them to feel overwhelmed in a given situation. For instance, the honking of a horn or the screeching of a tire can bring back vivid memories for the individual, causing them to be triggered back to that dangerous and stressful moment.
What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder can look different for everyone. However, there are many symptoms that most people with post-traumatic stress disorder experience. Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Intrusive thoughts: Flashbacks of the accident are a common symptom and can be stressful. These thoughts or visuals can be upsetting and cause further emotional distress.
- Avoidance: Your brain tries to protect you from real and imagined pain.You may avoid situations that remind you of the accident.
- Self-esteem issues: After a tragic accident, your outlook on life tends to be more negative, including your self-perspective. This can lead to a lack of confidence and result in self-isolation.
- Memory issues: Due to the extreme amount of stress the accident caused, you may have a hard time remembering things, including details of the accident.
- Heightened emotional reactions: These can include: increased irritability, anger, feelings of guilt, concentration issues, and trouble sleeping.
- Substance abuse: In an attempt to suppress or even forget the accident, you may indulge in excessive drug or alcohol use. While it may help temporarily, it may worsen your anxiety and other symptoms when you are sober again.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visiting your doctor or a mental health specialist can benefit you. In addition, medication and therapy in the right dosage and intervals can help you manage PTSD.
How Do I Know if I Will Develop PTSD?
While it may be difficult to determine if you may develop PTSD after an accident, there are some risk factors that can indicate your chances of developing the disorder. Some common risk factors include:
- Witnessing traumatic events
- Sustaining an injury, seeing people die, or get severely hurt
- Experiencing trauma in your childhood
- Having feelings of guilt, helplessness, or extreme anxiety
- Lacking support after a tragic event
- Not being able to properly emotionally recover after the loss of a loved one, an injury, or another stressful event
- Having a history or family history of mental illness or substance abuse
In addition to these risk factors, there may be other ways you are predisposed to developing PTSD. The average time period of developing PTSD is three months after the tragic event. However, the time period is different for everyone, and you may end up not developing PTSD at all.
How PTSD Can Affect and Limit You in Life
In many situations, post-traumatic stress disorder can impact your everyday life because it may cause you to avoid any potential triggers. This includes impacting your ability to drive for fear of being involved in another accident.
This fear can also prevent you from going to work, picking up your kids from school, and even socializing. These limitations can desperately reduce your quality of life and leave you feeling as if you’ve lost yourself.
Emotional Stress From a Car Accident Can Be Costly
PTSD is a real condition, and many people may not know the high costs it requires to effectively manage it. Fortunately, you can receive compensation for your emotional and physical pain. PTSD after a car accident can result in damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Psychiatric appointments
- Medication costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Loss of ability to spend time with kids
- Pain and suffering
If you are eligible for these damages from a car accident, you can get compensation to help you pay for medical bills and other expenses. Our car accident lawyers in Fort Myers are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Viles & Beckman if you were Injured in a Car Accident
At Viles & Beckman, we’re well aware that accident survivors go through a difficult situation when they develop PTSD and other emotional distress after a car accident. Because of this, we want to help you hold the negligent party financially accountable for the damages and injuries they caused you.
Call us today or contact us online and speak with our Fort Myers car accident lawyers to learn more about your rights and options. We look forward to hearing from you.