You could have PTSD after an auto accident

Auto accident injuries are often thought of as merely physical injuries. You try to brace yourself during a crash and break your arm. The car spins and twists your knee, tearing ligaments. You need to go to the hospital, get treatment and then begin the long road to rehab and recovery.

These injuries are incredibly common, of course, and it’s good to think about what they mean for your financial future if you get injured. But don’t assume that your injuries stop there. You certainly could have suffered a mental and emotional injury, such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Just because no one can see the evidence of it does not mean it isn’t real, that it won’t change your life or that you don’t need medical treatment.

What is PTSD?

PTSD gets a lot of its notoriety from wartime injuries. Soldiers who are injured or even those who simply see others get injured or killed in combat can experience this disorder after the fact. The trauma and stress created by the event have a lasting impact on them.

However, normal people going about their daily lives are not insulated from traumatic events. If you’re involved in a catastrophic crash, especially if someone passes away, it’s probably the most traumatic event of your life. It could lead to one or more of the four general categories of PTSD symptoms:

  1. Alterations in emotional and physical reaction: For instance, growing excessively angry over small issues.
  2. Intrusive memories: Thinking about the accident or having dreams about it. These thoughts are out of your control.
  3. Negative thinking and mood changes: Many people are generally happy before the accident and then may spiral into anxiety and depression.
  4. Avoidance behavior: You try to avoid similar situations, perhaps by finding that you’re now unable to drive for fear of another accident.

PTSD is a life-changing condition that can lead to lost wages, therapy visits, the need for medication and much more. If you have been experiencing it after a crash that someone else caused, you need to know what legal steps you can take to seek compensation.

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