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Chanfrau & Chanfrau

Suffering from PTSD after an Auto Accident

By William Chanfrau, Jr. on September 11, 2015

Man with his head in his hands in front of a wrecked vehicleAn auto accident can cause serious damage. After an auto accident, victims and their families may experience personal injury, property damage, or even death. However, another potential result of a car accident that is often overlooked is emotional damage. When an auto accident occurs, it can be a shock to a person’s mental and emotional facilities. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after auto accidents is not uncommon among our Daytona Beach clients. Our auto accident attorneys can help clients explore their rights if they are suffering from this condition.

What Is PTSD?

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is an emotional and/or mental reaction to a traumatic incident, such as a serious car accident. PTSD symptoms may develop within a few months of a traumatic event, but in other cases symptoms may not develop for many months, or even years. There are four main categories of PTSD symptoms: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in emotional reactions. While every person may be affected differently, below are some possible symptoms of PTSD:

  • Flashbacks
  • Recurring dreams/nightmares about the event
  • Avoiding talking about the event
  • Negative feelings about yourself or others
  • Feeling of hopelessness
  • Memory problems, particularly related to the traumatic event
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Difficulty sleeping

How Likely Is PTSD after an Accident?

Statistics show that the majority of people who experience a severe accident do not suffer from PTSD. Roughly nine percent of accident survivors are noted to have PTSD. However, for those accident survivors who do experience emotional damage after an accident, PTSD is the most common affliction, with approximately 60 percent of accident survivors who seek psychological treatment being diagnosed with PTSD. There are factors that may increase the risk of PTSD after an auto accident and these include the following:

  • Depression or other mental/emotional conditions prior to the accident
  • Severe personal injury as a result of the accident
  • Lengthy recovery following an auto accident as a result of injuries
  • Lack of emotional support in the weeks and months following the accident

Treating PTSD

There are several treatments that can be effective in helping patients cope with PTSD. Methods of treatment include behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and medication. While any combination of these treatments may prove effective for individuals, one of the most important aspects of a successful treatment is early intervention. Patients who believe they may be suffering from PTSD should seek psychological treatment as early as possible.

Seeking Compensation

If an auto accident was the fault of another driver, the experienced auto accidents at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can help clients to seek financial compensation for damages suffered. PTSD treatment may be long-term and can be very costly. Victims of auto accidents who suffer from PTSD may be due compensation for emotional pain and suffering, as well as the cost of treatment.

Contact Us

If you have suffered emotional distress as the result of an auto accident, it is important to learn about the rights you have to financial compensation. Our attorneys can discuss the details of your case and advise you on whether you should take legal action to seek rewards for pain, suffering, medical treatment, and other damages. Contact us at your earliest convenience to learn more.

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