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What Are the Signs of PTSD After a Car Accident?

If you’ve been in a car accident, you might be experiencing feelings of shock, anxiety, anger and even disbelief about what happened. It’s normal to feel overloaded with emotion in the wake of a serious accident, but if negative feelings persist and intensify over time, you might be dealing with a deeper psychological issue.

Knowing the signs of PTSD that can manifest after a car accident can help you identify the mental turmoil you might be feeling, seek treatment for your condition, and even secure compensation for your mental health counseling expenses. At Pendleton Law, we want to make sure everyone knows about the signs of PTSD so that they can get the help they need.

Understanding PTSD

Experiencing mental distress after a car accident is common and nothing to worry too much about. Taking off from work or school for a few days is also normal and can even be a good way to process your feelings after a life-threatening event. However, when psychological symptoms persist for weeks and months after the accident, PTSD should be considered.

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, can sometimes be hard to identify. People suffering from it might not realize what’s happening to them or they may feel too ashamed to investigate it further. If you’re not sure if you’re suffering from car accident-related PTSD, ask yourself if the negative emotions you’re experiencing are interrupting your daily life.

If your feelings are stopping you from living the life you’re accustomed to, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with PTSD. Talking to a mental health professional about what you’re going through is the best way to work through your emotions and get some relief from the pressure this condition has put on your life.

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Signs of PTSD You Might Experience After a Car Accident

PTSD from a car accident can affect people in different ways. Some may experience mild symptoms that are manageable with counseling, while others might require medication. If you experience any of the following signs of PTSD after a car accident, it’s important that you get in touch with a counselor or therapist:

  • Having flashbacks and replaying the accident in your mind 
  • Feeling disconnected from your surroundings and the people in your life
  • Feeling anxious about getting in a car
  • Experiencing unwarranted anger
  • Nightmares
  • Feeling resistant to medical care and screenings
  • Depression
  • Guilt

Remember, the signs of PTSD can appear in varying degrees of intensity. If your symptoms are less pronounced and don’t interfere with your life as much as a severe case of PTSD would, you should still talk to a mental health counselor.

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Circumstances That Might Increase Your Risk of Developing PTSD After a Car Accident

If you experienced a similar traumatic event in the past, your risk of developing PTSD after a car accident may be greater than if you hadn’t. Having anxiety, depression, or another form of mental illness can also predispose you to PTSD.

There are several other factors that will increase your likelihood of receiving a PTSD diagnosis, including:

  • You sustained severe physical injuries from the accident
  • If someone else was injured or killed by the accident
  • If you don’t have close friends or family to offer support after the collision

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Dealing With the Symptoms of Car Accident-Related PTSD

In addition to speaking with a therapist and taking medication, there are several actions you can take to manage the symptoms of PTSD caused by a motor vehicle collision. Making the following behaviors and practices part of your daily routine can help you cope with the effects of PTSD:

  • Stick to a routine
  • Exercise and eat healthy foods
  • Incorporate mindfulness practices into your day
  • Talk to friends and family about your accident and how you’re feeling

Having a daily routine and taking care of yourself can go a long way in combating the symptoms of PTSD. Becoming more aware of your thoughts, whether it’s through mindfulness or talking about your experience with close friends and family, can help you identify negative thought patterns and get the help you need before they become too overwhelming.

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Receiving Compensation for Your PTSD

Did you know you can get compensation for PTSD after a car accident? If your lawyer is helping you pursue a car accident claim for economic losses like property damage and medical bills, they can also request that the defendant compensate you for non-economic damages.

Non-economic damages can compensate for things like diminished quality of life, pain and suffering, and even mental health counseling expenses. If you sought treatment for your PTSD from a counselor or therapist, your attorney can secure you the compensation you need to cover the cost.

In order for your attorney to request health counseling damages, they’ll need a witness statement from your counselor. This will help them prove to a court that the car accident you were in took a profound toll on your mental health. Your counselor may also be called to the stand to provide expert testimony during your trial and add credibility to your claim.

Contact Our Firm to Pursue Damages for Your Car Accident PTSD

The psychological effects of a car accident should not be taken lightly. If you’ve been in a car accident and notice any of the signs associated with PTSD, you should seek counseling services to help you manage your condition. In addition to speaking with a mental health professional, you should also contact a skilled car accident lawyer.

Christina Pendleton & Associates can help you investigate your accident, build a strong case, and fight for damages to cover not only your medical and auto repair bills, but also your mental health counseling expenses. Don’t wait to get the legal help you need to return to a normal life. Fill out a contact form on our website and we’ll be in touch to schedule your free consultation.

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