Being involved in a car accident is a frightening experience that can be even more overwhelming when you have sustained injuries from the crash. Studies are now pointing to car accidents as the number cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and car crash victims who suffer from it can include it as a personal injury in their car accident claim.
What Is PTSD?
At one time, it was thought that only military members could develop PTSD, but medical experts have come to recognize that anyone who suffers a traumatic event can suffer from the disorder.
Victims of PTSD often have flashbacks and nightmares of the traumatic event, leading them to relive it over and over again. Many PTSD victims suffer from anxiety and mood swings, loss of interest in their daily life, insomnia, and often isolate themselves from their loved ones.
PTSD and Car Accidents
More than $100 billion is spent each year on car crash damages. In any given year, at least 1 percent of the entire population of this country will be car accident victims – that is approximately 3 million people.
Almost 10 percent of car victims each year develop PTSD, however, experts think that actual number is higher because many victims do not seek mental health treatment, and therefore their PTSD is not documented. For those car crash victims who do seek help, approximately 60 percent of them are diagnosed with PTSD. There may be other mental health disorders that car accidents can cause, including depression and an anxiety disorder. And at least 15 percent of car crash victims with PTSD also said they developed a fear of driving after the accident.
Treatment for PTSD usually requires counseling and medication and can take a few months for the victim to feel okay again. While a victim is undergoing treatment, they may not be able to work or drive. Some may be too scared to even get into a vehicle. For these victims, treatment may be more extensive and take longer. But just like the physical injuries sustained in a crash, the at-fault party is also responsible for the same type of losses the victim suffers while undergoing PTSD treatment, including medical expenses and loss of income from being unable to work.
Contact a Carolinas Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident and is suffering from PTSD, contact a North Carolina car accident attorney to discuss what legal options you may have for your pain and loss.