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PTSD & Car Accidents: Do You Know the Symptoms?

Research suggests more than six million traffic accidents happen in the United States every year. Many of these accidents result in serious injuries - even death. Unfortunately, the consequences of a traffic accident involve more than physical injuries like scrapes, whiplash, and broken bones.

According to experts, many victims of car accidents experience PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) after a serious collision. The probability of experiencing PTSD is especially high if you sustained a traumatic brain injury or thought you were going to die in the accident.

Common emotions linked to car accidents include shock, disbelief, anger, anxiety, fear, and guilt. Researchers discovered that the majority of people who survive an auto accident feel at least one, if not more, or these emotions. Many car accident survivors find themselves reliving the accident too, going over the event in their minds even if they want to stop thinking about it.

There’s a difference between ‘normal’ emotions and ones that are too strong. Learning the difference between these two can help you cope with conflicting emotions and PTSD after an accident.

In most cases, these intense feelings will dissipate with time. But what if feelings of anger, guilt, or disbelief grow instead of fade? If your emotions begin to influence your thoughts and actions, you could be suffering from PTSD.

How to identify PTSD after an accident:

  • An overwhelming sense of fear or uneasiness
  • Difficulty driving or riding in vehicles with others
  • Avoiding medical tests and procedures
  • Feeling disconnected from people and events
  • Continuing, uncontrolled memories of the crash

Dealing with PTSD after a car accident can be as simple as talking to your friends and family, or seeking professional advice from a counselor.

If you experience PTSD after a traffic accident, confide your feelings in a close friend or family member. You can also speak to your family doctor or schedule time to talk with a counselor. Other ways to improve your emotional health after an accident include staying active, exercising, and getting back into your daily routines. The most important thing is to avoid letting a past accident limit your activities, even if driving again seems uncomfortable or frightening.

Injured in a car accident? Our team of topnotch Denver car accident attorneys can help you seek full and fair compensation for your injuries. Contact our office today! We’ll provide a free, no-obligation case evaluation to help you learn more about your legal rights and options with us.