Mar 25, 2024

Can You Get PTSD From A Car Accident?

Physical injury is common after a severe auto accident, but some people also end up suffering from “PTSD” from this event. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often associated with soldiers returning from military conflicts, but PTSD can also affect people who have experienced other types of terrifying or stressful events, such as accidents. This disorder can make it challenging to live or work because of constant terrible memories, nightmares, and other triggers that make the victim relive what happened. Approximately 6 of every 100 people might experience PTSD at some time in their lives. 

Miami car accident victims have developed PTSD and other mental health issues from the trauma associated with an accident. If you were in an auto accident recently and think you have PTSD, our Miami auto accident attorneys may be able to help PTSD victims get compensation.  

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health issue that is caused by experiencing or seeing a terrifying event. Many people who experience a traumatic event, such as a wrongful death auto accident may have difficulty dealing with the memory of what happened. Common signs of a potential PTSD disorder are nightmares, flashbacks, and anxiety. In some cases, the passage of time and appropriate self-care make symptoms disappear, but if you continue experiencing symptoms, you could have PTSD. 

Fortunately, many people with severe PTSD or a similar psychological condition can improve their symptoms and function with therapy and other methods. 

Anyone can suffer PTSD after car crashes. However, not every person who has PTSD has gone through a traumatic event; just learning that a friend or loved one went through trauma may be enough to trigger PTSD symptoms. 

Common PTSD Symptoms After A Car Accident

Symptoms may begin about one month after a severely traumatic event. However, symptoms may not appear until months or years after the car accident or other event. PTSD symptoms can cause significant problems with your social interactions, work duties, and personal relationships. PTSD symptoms are usually broken into four areas: 

  1. Intrusive memories: Constant distressing memories of what happened, reliving the event, disturbing dreams and nightmares, and severe emotional or physical distress. 
  2. Avoidance: Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the trauma and avoiding activities or places that remind you of the incident. 
  3. Negative changes in mood and thinking: Extreme negative feelings about oneself, feelings of hopelessness, memory issues, difficulty with intimate relationships, emotional numbness, difficulty feeling positive emotions, angry outbursts, and a feeling of detachment from loved ones. 
  4. Changes in emotional and physical reactions: Being easily frightened or startled, always alert for danger, self-destructive behaviors, difficulty sleeping and concentrating, angry outbursts, and feelings of shame or guilt. 

Your PTSD symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe and can vary over time. You could have more severe PTSD symptoms when around or in a car. Or, you could see an auto accident on the street and immediately recall the terror and stress of your car accident. 

What Are Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatments? 

Car accident post-traumatic stress disorder is generally diagnosed after a mental health examination. Your doctor will rely on criteria stated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). After you get a PTSD diagnosis, your doctor may recommend therapy, medication, and other treatments, such as: 

  • Exposure therapy: This treatment could help you face car accident memories safely without going through trauma. 
  • Cognitive therapy: This involves understanding patterns of thought and behavior that could prevent you from moving forward from the accident. 
  • Eye movement reprocessing and desensitization: This is exposure therapy that relies on guided eye movements to change how you react to painful accident memories. 
  • Prescription drugs (Rx): Your medical professional may prescribe antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. 

Medical And Psychological Assistance After A Car Accident

Do you have regular disturbing feelings and/or thoughts about the car accident for weeks (or longer)? Are you struggling with these memories and do they affect your ability to enjoy life and work? You should speak to your medical professional immediately. Getting treatment for potential PTSD may reduce your symptoms and put you on the road to recovery. 

If you are thinking about suicide, you should speak to professional immediately, or at least call 988, or a close loved one or family friend right away, talk to your religious advisor, or contact a mental health advisor immediately.

Potential Miami PTSD Damages

Compensation for a personal injury claim and PTSD may be possible after a severe auto accident. If you think you have PTSD after a car wreck, the following must be proven for a claim to succeed under Florida law: 

  • Another driver caused the car accident. This means proving that the other party was more careless than a ‘reasonable person’ would have been in the same situation. The other party’s negligence must have caused the accident. 
  • You developed emotional injuries, mental anguish, and PTSD as a direct outcome of the auto accident – these would be separate from physical injuries. 
  • The mental health condition is affecting your life in a way that requires compensatory damages. 

You must have admissible evidence in your records and your doctor’s statements that your emotional damages were caused by the accident. Also crucial for your accident claim is proof that the condition affects you at home, work, and everyday life. 

This means you could recover financial compensation for your mental health professional’s treatments and for the pain of dealing with your condition. However, our attorneys cannot guarantee or promise any amount nor provide an average settlement. Every accident case is different, and your case could be worth more or less than others. 

Photo of Car Accident Scene

How You Can Get Compensated For an Accident After Getting PTSD

If you suffer from post-traumatic stress after an accident, you could have grounds for a Florida legal claim. You could be compensated for developing PTSD if your personal injury lawyer can prove the other party caused the crash. 

A personal injury attorney at Nunez Law will review the circumstances of the auto accident if you have serious injuries and whether your mental health disorder is related to the accident. In our free legal consultation, we will determine if you have a strong case and if your case qualifies, we will attempt to help you recover damages. 

Our lawyers understand how complex PTSD cases are to prove. The insurance company for the at-fault party will very likely be skeptical of your claim. But we will collect evidence of your medical bills, and other admissible evidence. That way, your rights could be protected, and you might receive maximum compensation for PTSD. 

Speak To A Miami Car Accident Lawyer Now 

Being in a severe accident in Miami isn’t always just about the physical injuries. You could also develop PTSD. Many accident victims also experience substantial mental and emotional suffering, and PTSD can be a part of the overall trauma of the incident. An accident victim with PTSD may experience recurring nightmares and relive the incident in their minds repeatedly, to the point where living life normally or working is nearly impossible. 

If your accident was because someone else was at-fault, Nunez Law may be able to assist you in recovering compensation for your PSTD, physical injury, and other losses. Attorney Nunez is a leading accident attorney in Miami with excellent client testimonials and has been named to the National Trial Lawyers Association Top 40 Under 40 list. Be assured he will fight for every dime of compensation for your losses if your case qualifies. Contact us today and we will start fighting for a fair settlement in your legal situation by simply calling (305) 444-4407. Remember that at AccidentLawFirm.com, Our 5 Star Reviews Are No Accident.