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How Common Is PTSD After a Serious Car Accident?

Posted on in Car Accidents

IL injury lawyerBeing involved in any type of car accident can be shocking and upsetting. Severe car accidents in which occupants or pedestrians are injured or killed are especially traumatic. When we think about car crash injuries, we typically focus on physical injuries like traumatic brain injuries or broken bones. However, psychological injuries can be just as harmful as physical injuries. Studies show that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common after being involved in a serious wreck. Many accident victims experience PTSD symptoms that significantly impact their daily lives.

Psychological Injuries and Motor Vehicle Accidents

Research demonstrates that the incidence of PTSD in collision victims is as high as 33 percent. Anxiety, phobias, depression, and other mental health conditions may also result from a traumatic car crash. Some of the most common psychological injury symptoms after being involved in a serious wreck include:

  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Recurrent memories of the accident
  • Flashbacks
  • Depression and hopelessness
  • Memory impairment
  • Hyperreactivity
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability or aggression
  • Survivor’s guilt
  • Fear and avoidance
  • Distorted beliefs about oneself

These symptoms can be extremely hard to live with. Sufferers may find it difficult or impossible to maintain employment or complete everyday tasks.

Treatment for PTSD After a Crash

Fortunately, there are treatments available for those with PTSD, anxiety, and other mental health problems caused by a severe accident. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a treatment that helps the sufferer combat negative thought patterns and behaviors. Exposure therapy involves methodically exposing the sufferer to upsetting stimuli with the goal of reducing the fear response associated with the stimuli. For example, someone who is afraid of driving following a horrible accident may start by sitting in the car while it is off. Next, they may start the car but remain stationary. Eventually, they may be able to drive short distances. These exposures continue until the sufferer no longer fears driving. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy involves the patient remembering the traumatic event while following an object or image with their eyes. The purpose of EDMR Is to help the patient become less distressed by the upsetting memories of the crash.

Contact a Lake County Car Crash Injury Lawyer

Serious car accidents can lead to mental conditions such as PTSD and anxiety. If you suffered psychological injuries after a crash, you may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses and other damages. To learn more, contact a Waukegan personal injury attorney from Salvi & Maher, L.L.C.. Call our office at 847-662-3303 today for a free, no-obligation case assessment.



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