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PTSD After a Car Accident

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a change in the body’s response to a stressful circumstance. 

Normally, after a stressful event the body recovers. The hormones and stress chemicals that the body secretes due to such stress return to normal levels.

However, for some reason, in a person with post-traumatic stress disorder, the body continues to secrete hormones and stress chemicals.

Post-traumatic stress disorder can occur at any age and appear after events such as:

  • Car Accidents
  • Domestic Violence
  • Natural Disasters
  • Imprisonment
  • Sexual Assault
  • Terrorism
  • War

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Contact Avrek Law For Help

If you were in an auto accident and have suffered from PTSD please contact us today.

Avrek Law has over 50 years experience and has recovered over $1 Billion for our clients.

Even accidents that are considered low impact with minor injuries, the potential for PTSD exists.

You can call us for a FREE consultation at 866-598-5548 or contact us online 24 hours a day. Every client matters to us here at Avrek Law, so don’t wait to contact us.

PTSD Car Accident Car Accident Compensation Claims

Whenever you suffer a catastrophic injury in an accident that was not your fault, you are entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering.

And if you develop PTSD, you are entitled to additional compensation to cover time away from work, loss of quality of life, and the cost of medications and treatment.

Putting a value on PTSD and the impact on your daily life is complicated. This is why you want to call Avrek Law for a free consultation.

It will be necessary to prove your PTSD and closely related damages to ensure you get the best settlement possible.

How Often Do People Get PTSD After a Car Accident?

Each year, more than 6 million traffic accidents (head on, sideswipe, rear end, etc.) occur in the United States.

If you have been in an accident, you could have experienced many different injuries and emotions at the time of the accident and in the later days.

Most people just think about injuries like broken bones, internal injuries, spine injuries, head injuries, whiplash, concussion, etc., but PTSD is another reality.

Some of these feelings could have included the following:

  • Shock
  • Trouble believing it really happened
  • Rage
  • Nervousness or worry
  • Fear or restlessness
  • Guilt

In addition, you could relive the accident in your mind. You could feel like you cannot stop thinking about it.

Most people who have been in an accident have some (or all) of these feelings.

Sometimes, however, these sensations can be so strong that they prevent you from having a normal life after the car accident.

Risks Associated With PTSD

PTSD can make it difficult to be with a person. Living with someone who is startled easily, has nightmares, and often avoids social situations can affect even the most loving family.

Early research on PTSD has demonstrated the harmful impact this disorder can have on families.

Research has shown that Vietnam Veterans have more marital problems and higher levels of family violence, their partners are more distressed, and their children have more behavioral problems than those of veterans without PTSD.

Veterans with the most severe symptoms had families with the worst functioning household.

How does PTSD have such a negative effect? Probably because it is difficult for those who suffer from PTSD to feel their emotions. They may feel isolated from others. This can cause problems in personal relationships, and can even lead to behavioral problems in children.

Treatments For PTSD

The treatments that have demonstrated a greater effectiveness in the specific treatment of post-traumatic stress are those based on cognitive-behavioral procedures, although it is an area in which much more investigation is required.

However, it must be borne in mind that the treatment can show obvious differences from one case to another, naturally, depending on the characteristics of the person, but also on the basis of the triggering events:

A sexual assault won’t produce the same effects as a natural disaster, or the collision of two trains.

Here is a list of those techniques considered most effective:

  1. Provision of containment resources, which lead patients to feel cared for and understood, to express themselves freely, or to be able to deposit, and to some extent discharge, their fears or concerns.
  2. Desensitization and Reprocessing by the Movement of the Eyes: the application of this technique is based on the premise, for PTSD, that anxiety is due to the fact that the information about the traumatic event remains unprocessed, keeping the cognitions, behaviors, and feelings about the event. This treatment would facilitate the reprocessing of traumatic memory through the cognitive reconstruction of the event, associated with the induction of saccadic eye movements in the patient, and other forms of bilateral stimulation.
  3. Information to the patient about the nature of post-traumatic stress: basic mechanisms, functionality and dysfunction, explanation about symptoms and their scope, relationships between thought, emotion and action.
  4. Medication: usually in combination and in support of psychological treatment: the drugs that have been shown to be more efficient in the acute onset period, and later on, are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and 5-HT2 receptor antagonists (nefazodone). Pharmacological treatment must always be prescribed and supervised by a physician.
  5. Identification and neutralization of counterproductive procedures: used by the patient to regulate his problem, but which, in fact, contribute, not to the solution, but to the maintenance of the problem.
  6. Relaxation training: slow, diaphragmatic breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
  7. Controlled and progressive exposure to feared situations, usually imaginary: exposure initially activates the fear present in traumatic memories, then allows the patient to have a corrective experience in the absence of aversive consequences.
  8. Cognitive techniques: restructuring catastrophic interpretations, control of automatic thoughts, handling of guilt, overestimation of the probability of occurrence of a negative fact. To favor these changes, it is frequent to use structured exercises, “behavioral experiments”, questioning of hypotheses through “Socratic dialogue” or contrasts with evidence, etc.
  9. Optimization of social and affective supports: communication of the facts and traumatic experiences.
  10. Development of coping skills for specific situations: put emphasis on what you want to happen, rather than avoiding what you do not want to happen, in a given situation
  11. Mutual support groups and/or self-help materials: as a complement to therapy.

These are some of the best known and proven therapeutic resources in the treatment of post-traumatic stress.

It should be kept in mind, however, that these disorders may be associated with other problems, which also require an approach, in the context of an integrated and suitably articulated treatment.

The treatment, strictly speaking, is not of the post-traumatic stress itself, but of the person who suffers it, in relation, naturally, to the demands and needs of the person.

What May Happen After The Accident?

Post-traumatic stress disorder can cause problems such as:

  • Flashbacks or the feeling that the event is happening again
  • Sleeping problems or nightmares
  • Feeling lonely
  • Anger bursts
  • Feelings of concern, guilt or sadness

PTSD begins at different times depending on the person.

Disorder symptoms can begin immediately after the traumatic event and remain. Other people develop new and more serious symptoms months, or even years later.

Post-traumatic stress disorder can affect anyone, including children.

Common Symptoms

Symptoms of PTSD can disrupt your life and make it difficult for you to continue your daily activities. You may find it difficult to reach the end of the day.

There are four types of PTSD symptoms:

Reviving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms). Memories of the traumatic event may come back at any time. You could feel the same fear and horror you felt when the event took place. For example:

  • You could have nightmares.
  • You could feel the event coming back to life. This is known as a retrospective scene.
  • You could see, hear, or smell something that makes you relive the event. This is known as a trigger. News reports, witnessing an accident, or listening to the piston of a car engine are examples of triggers.

Avoid situations that remind you of the event. You can try to avoid situations or people that trigger your memories of the traumatic event, maybe even avoid talking or thinking about that situation. For example:

  • Maybe you avoid the crowds, because you feel they are dangerous.
  • You could avoid driving if you had an accident
  • You may want to stay busy or avoid asking for help because that way you avoid thinking or talking about the event.

Can PTSD Affect My Ability to Work?

Symptoms of PTSD usually manifest shortly after the traumatic event. However, in some people they may appear months or even years after the trauma.

Various types of car accidents can trigger PTSD, like hit and run, motorcycle crash, or even a bicycle accident.

Symptoms may appear and disappear intermittently for many years. Therefore, you should keep track of your symptoms and talk about them with someone you trust.

If you have symptoms that last longer than 4 weeks and cause you great distress or interfere with your work or personal life, you may have PTSD. You should seek professional help from a doctor or consultant.

You may be nervous or always alert and defensive in normal situations. You may feel suddenly irritable or upset. This is known as hyperactivation.

For example:

  • You might have trouble sleeping.
  • You may have trouble concentrating.
  • Maybe loud sounds make you uneasy.
  • You may want to have your back against the wall when you are in a restaurant or waiting room.

All this can affect your work performance irremediably.

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