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Are You Suffering From PTSD After a Car Accident in NYC?

Posted in Car Accidents on May 12, 2021

Are You Suffering From PTSD After a Car Accident in NY?

Being in a car accident in New York can be a traumatic and emotional experience. In addition to the physical injuries sustained in the accident, many car accident victims suffer psychological injuries. Psychological injuries can be as debilitating and painful as physical injuries.

It is common to experience emotional distress and mental anguish after a car accident. Ongoing symptoms of mental or emotional distress could be a sign that you have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD is a mental health disorder that can develop after a person experiences a shocking, terrifying, or traumatic event. Members of the military may develop PTSD after serving in battle. Other individuals may develop this disorder after a traumatic event.

For example, victims of car accidents, assault, natural disasters, and dog attacks have reported symptoms of PTSD. Some individuals develop PTSD after they witness the wrongful death or violent assault of another person.

Can a Car Accident Victim Have PTSD?

Yes, being in a car accident can cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some studies have indicated that people who are involved in traffic accidents have an increased risk of developing the disorder. In fact, traffic accidents have become the leading cause of PTSD.

Some of the signs of PTSD in traffic accident victims include, but are not limited to:

  • Nightmares and flashbacks of the car accident
  • Fear of riding in a vehicle
  • Problems sleeping
  • Avoiding situations, people, and places that remind you of the car crash
  • Refusing to talk about the accident
  • Being easily startled, anxious, and on edge
  • Refusing to drive a motor vehicle
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Sudden and unexplained mood changes
  • Having outbursts and becoming angry for no reason
  • Withdrawing and isolating yourself from others and things that interested you before the accident
  • Filling each moment of the day to stay busy, so you do not think about the car wreck
  • Having panic attacks and extreme fear when you hear sounds that remind you of the accident, such as an ambulance or siren

Other psychological conditions might accompany PTSD. You may experience chronic anxiety or depression. You may also develop other conditions, such as eating disorders, substance abuse, and insomnia.

Seeking Treatment for PTSD After a Car Accident in New York City

It is crucial to seek treatment for PTSD and other mental health issues after a traffic accident. Children can also experience PTSD, depression, and anxiety after being involved in an accident. You or your child do not have to be physically injured to suffer from PTSD.

A medical provider can observe your behavior and analyze your symptoms to diagnose PTSD.  You typically must experience PTSD symptoms for at least one month to receive a PTSD diagnosis.

A physician will look for:

  • At least one symptom related to avoidance, such as refusing to ride in an automobile
  • At least two symptoms related to cognition and mood, such as having trouble remembering the details of the accident
  • At least one symptom related to re-experiencing the event, such as night terrors or flashbacks
  • At least two symptoms related to arousal or reactivity, such as being anxious or having trouble sleeping

PTSD can significantly impact your daily life, emotional wellbeing, and relationships with others. Severe cases of PTSD may prevent someone from working or caring for their family. Some individuals may retreat into isolation and refuse to leave home.

The treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder may include:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Counseling
  • Medications
  • Psychotherapy
  • Or a combination of the above

Therapists can help individuals learn coping techniques that can help them manage some of the symptoms of PTSD. Several medications can also help relieve some PTSD symptoms.

Including PTSD in Your Personal Injury Claim

Car accident victims who experience PTSD can seek compensation for their damages related to the disorder.

Damages that might be available in a personal injury claim include:

  • The cost of diagnosing and treating PTSD, including medications, therapy, and doctor’s bills
  • Travels expenses to and from doctor’s visits and medical treatments
  • Cost of treatment for depression, anxiety, insomnia, substance abuse, eating disorders, and conditions related to the PTSD
  • Loss of enjoyment of life and decreases in your quality of life
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress caused by the PTSD
  • Loss of benefits, wages, and other income

The value of your personal injury claim depends on numerous factors. A personal injury lawyer can review your case and advise you of your legal rights and options for seeking damages caused by PTSD after a car accident in New York.

To learn more, call one of our convenient locations nearest you for assistance.

New York City law office at (212) 564-2800,
Brooklyn law office at (718) 802-1600.

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