Car Crash Survivors May Exhibit Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The average adult American today is quite comfortable sitting behind the wheel, and usually due to necessity. Most of us are usually involved in several short trips a day or one long commute, but others must travel constantly for work, or perhaps even drive a truck full-time. The exercise of operating a motor vehicle can become extremely routine, almost like washing the dishes or doing some other ordinary task. The difference is that when you make a mistake in your kitchen, it is rare that someone is injured or becomes a fatality.

Recent data shows that Americans are driving more than ever, sitting in traffic more than ever, and experiencing more auto accidents than ever. Information from the National Safety Council shows that fatalities from car crashes were up by six percent in 2016, although cars are becoming even safer to drive thanks to so many new innovations by car manufacturers. The usual killers are to blame though: excessive speed, drivers who are distracted by cell phones and other activities, and motorists who are impaired by alcohol. And even though this information is widely available, most of us are still used to going back and forth to our usual destinations, often lulled into a false sense of security. Because of this, being involved in a car accident can be even more traumatic emotionally—not to mention physically; in fact, some motorists may be reluctant to get behind the wheel again for some time after an accident.

If you have experienced just a mild fender bender you may have been very shaken up. Imagine this on a much worse level, and it is not a stretch to understand how motorists who are in major crashes (and may sustain serious injuries too) might develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Research outlined in ‘Assessment and treatment of PTSD after a motor vehicle collision: Empirical findings and clinical observations’ states that individuals who are in car crashes are susceptible to PTSD, with one of the most common symptoms being the inability to forget about the experience, constantly rehashing the event over and over in their minds. They may also experience other symptoms such as continued obsessive thoughts, ongoing nightmares, feelings of detachment, irritability and mood swings, and more—along with a reluctance to drive.

To make matters worse, many car crash survivors with PTSD may also be coping with chronic pain from injuries sustained during the accident. Anxiety and depression may be exacerbated due to having to make life adjustments after a serious injury—while mourning the loss of others who were in the car with them. A serious auto accident can also lead to loss of income either temporarily or permanently if the individual is unable to go back to work. If you have been injured in a car crash due to the negligence of others, consult with an experienced auto accident attorney from a firm like Heintz & Becker as soon as possible.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a car or motorcycle accident due to the negligence of others who are uninsured? Call our office for a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. We handle all types of Florida personal injury cases, and our law firm has established an impressive record of verdicts and settlements. If you have been seriously injured, call us now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.