Can Car Accidents Cause PTSD?

Maybe some auto accidents are foreseeable, and others may certainly be preventable, but even foreseeability and preventability do not necessarily reduce the trauma associated with an auto accident.

Most auto accidents, even minor fender-benders, are traumatic in their own ways. It would seem to be common sense that the more violent the accident, the more traumatic the experience might be to us,  especially if we see dead bodies in vehicles or on the street.

The Reality of PTSD

In extreme trauma, the events that cause the trauma can affect us psychologically for years afterward – even to the point of flashbacks to the event (this is especially common among veterans who return from a war zone). Much of this can be placed along the lines of a post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

In the course of our lifetimes, most of us will be involved in at least one motor-vehicle accident, and about 25 percent of us will be involved in one that will result in serious injuries or deaths. That is millions of people over the next 50-60 years, and that means millions of people who would be at risk of post-traumatic episodes.

Car Accidents and PTSD

Granted, not everyone who is involved in a serious auto accident will get PTSD or be at risk for it, but whenever a traumatic experience happens in our lives, symptoms of post-traumatic stress may manifest – whether it’s from being a war zone, an auto accident, watching a relative get killed, or having a near–death experience yourself.

Any of these events can cause great trauma and affect us emotionally and mentally, and it can be debilitating to us. Potentially millions of people already have some form of PTSD, and millions more may succumb to it during their lifetime. And it is possible for a person to suffer from PTSD as a result of a car accident that is particularly heinous and violent, especially if the person was close to passing away. It’s similar to those who survive a war zone, where they could have been killed but instead lost compatriots just feet away.

You Can Be Whole Again

Some car accidents cost more than just the medical bills and replacing or repairing vehicles. The cost may be a person’s mental and emotional health if the auto accident was especially traumatic. And if a person suffers from PTSD as a result of an accident, the person may have a case to file for damages to pay for psychological therapy and lost wages if the trauma from the accident could be seen to be so debilitating as to prevent a person from working or living a normal life.

Contact our Memphis attorneys today to discuss your auto-accident case, and let us help you with getting you the professional help you need to deal with your trauma, and allow us to help you defend your right to be made whole – physically, financially and psychologically.