Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by a frightening event that the victim has experienced or witnessed. According to statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 40 percent of vehicle accident victims develop PTSD.
Even a minor crash can be a terrifying event for a victim. The more serious the accident, the more traumatic the experience. A victim who may be suffering from physical injuries may end up developing PTSD symptoms in the days or weeks after the accident. Victims who only received minor injuries can also develop PTSD. This disorder can have a significant impact on the victim’s daily life and can worsen without proper diagnosis or treatment.
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It is normal for a car accident victim to feel some kind of apprehension or anxiety after they have been in an accident, especially if the crash was caused by the recklessness or negligence of another driver. However, if that anxiety continues in the months following the accident and becomes worse instead of better, this is a sign that the victim may be suffering from PTSD.
Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD following a crash include:
- Avoidance: If the victim tries not to think or talk about the accident, stops driving a vehicle or even be a passenger in a vehicle, this is an indication that they may have developed PTSD.
- Emotional and Physical Reactions: A victim who complains of insomnia or has trouble concentrating could be developing PTSD. Other emotional or physical symptoms are irritability, excessive drinking or eating, having feelings of guilt, or is easily startled.
- Intrusive Memories: Another symptom of PTSD involves recurring nightmares and/or flashbacks of the crash. These nightmares cause the victim terrible distress.
- Negative Moods and Thoughts: Victims suffering from PTSD often have memory loss, as well as show signs of detachment and hopelessness.
Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney for Assistance
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another party, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to find out what legal options you may have. Not only may you be entitled to medical expenses and loss of income, but you may also be entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability, and any scarring or disfigurement your injuries may leave.
The legal team from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn has been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled Va. car accident attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today at 800-752-0042 for a free case evaluation.