Car collisions can cause lasting psychological and emotional damage, resulting in devastating conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recent research confirms that individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents have a heightened risk of developing PTSD. While physical injuries may become apparent soon after the accident, mental anguish results from the trauma sustained during and afterward — often manifesting weeks or months later. Notably, PTSD is one of the most common mental health issues caused by car accidents. If the accident that injured you was caused by another driver’s negligence, then under local and state laws, you could be entitled to compensation. Victims of car accidents should seek help from a qualified Port Charlotte car accident lawyer for expert legal guidance.
Continue reading to gain a comprehensive understanding of the potential risks associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following an automobile accident in Florida. While we will cover aspects of PTSD, please remember this is not medical/mental health advice – if you are experiencing any medical and/or mental health crisis seek proper medical assistance immediately.
What Is PTSD?
When individuals endure or encounter a traumatic situation, they are open to developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is a diagnosable mental illness. Examples of events that may result in PTSD include:
- Violent acts
- Natural disasters
- Motor-vehicle accidents
- Witnessing the death of a loved one
After an accident, victims may be plagued by a plethora of symptoms – reminiscing about the traumatic event and facing anxiety even while being far away from cars or crash sites. PTSD can also cause psychological damage to varying degrees, as well as severed relationships with family and friends.
Not only are those directly involved in an automobile accident likely to suffer traumatic psychological effects, but even bystanders can experience significant distress. A car crash is a terrifying and unpredictable event that places the lives of victims at risk sometimes resulting in lifelong medical issues such as TBIs, paralysis, or amputations. But even minor injuries can result in profound emotional damage on top of physical pain and suffering.
The manifestation of post-traumatic stress disorder in individuals after a car crash can vary greatly, and sometimes not all the hallmarks are present. If any of these symptoms appear, it could be an indication that someone is suffering from this condition and it is important that they seek qualified medical care as soon as possible:
Intrusive Thoughts and Emotions
Uninvited and unwelcome intrusive thoughts are common PTSD symptoms. Sadly, though uncommonly talked about, this is something that most people experience regularly.
For those suffering from PTSD, intrusive thoughts can be both devastatingly severe and exceedingly difficult to manage. These overwhelming feelings of helplessness, unease, or even rage can leave them feeling powerless in their own lives.
Anger can be overwhelming for someone living with PTSD, often provoked by memories of the traumatic event or feelings of helplessness. In other cases, unrelated triggers may cause them to flare up in uncontrollable outbursts and rage. As such, it is important for someone suffering from PTSD to get access to treatment so they can manage their emotions better and lead a more peaceful life.
Depression and Anxiety
Vehicle accidents can leave some people feeling deep sadness and despair. This is often a flag that they are struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which could make everyday activities increasingly difficult to manage on their own.
When a person has gone through an automobile accident, often times the trauma associated with it can cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This type of experience is difficult to move on from and many people find themselves replaying in their minds what had happened. Additionally, some individuals attempt to take responsibility for the incident or search for ways they could have prevented it.
Unfortunately, many who suffer from PTSD feel isolated in the midst of their ordeal – as if they are the only ones going through it. As post-traumatic stress intensifies, victims have a tendency to become completely disconnected from all persons involved in their lives.
Disrupted Sleep Cycles
For many PTSD sufferers, their sleep patterns are drastically altered. While some may experience no difficulty in drifting off to sleep, others could battle with it for hours on end – especially if the person is contending with frequent nightmares of the incident or other related events.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can be debilitating and make it hard to concentrate on anything that doesn’t directly relate to the traumatizing event. As a result, work or other daily tasks may become strenuous efforts. Even hobbies that were once cherished may suddenly seem impossible for those with PTSD to enjoy again.
Recovering from any injury is an incredibly strenuous process – many people who have been in car collisions report feeling more fatigued than usual, as a result requiring longer breaks for rest or having to give up activities that they once enjoyed.
For those who have been emotionally impacted by a traumatic car accident, the mere sight of an automobile can spark intense distress. Individuals may take greater lengths to circumvent their former route in order to dodge any mention or resemblance of the occurrence. Some individuals will even go as far as avoiding getting into any type of vehicle, out of fear that it might trigger disturbing memories.
Compensation for Damages Caused By PTSD Following A Florida Car Accident
Under Florida state laws, individuals who have suffered PTSD as a result of an auto accident can pursue damages in their associated claims. Victims of car accidents in Florida have the right to seek both economic and non-economic damages, such as compensation for therapy or counseling to treat mental health disorders like PTSD. However, due to the complexities of Florida’s no-fault laws, it is highly recommended that you speak with an experienced accident attorney about your legal rights following a crash. With their help, you can understand all possible options available and give yourself a much greater chance at having a successful claim.
The personal injury lawyers at FGB Law Firm have years of experience fighting for the rights of accident victims. If you or a loved one had PTSD after a motor vehicle accident, call us today at 941-979-9010 or complete our online consultation form to schedule a free consultation.