After an accident, can a victim develop PTSD?

Life is unpredictable. It's a saying we're sure many of our readers have heard someone here in Joplin say before. But while this saying can be applied to happy occurrences, it can also be associated with bad ones as well.

Take for example a car accident. In most cases, collisions with other vehicles happen suddenly and typically without warning. As a result, victims are usually left shaken and in need of medical attention. In particularly serious collisions, a person may even be traumatized by the experience.

As you may or may not know, serious motor vehicle accidents can cause a person to develop post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD for short. Generally associated with war veterans, PTSD can develop after any traumatizing event, including car accidents. This is because some traumatizing events can actually cause a person's "fight or flight" response to overreact, thus causing it to work improperly down the road.

Though PTSD is treatable, it can require months -- or perhaps even years -- of therapy. In some cases, therapy may be successful enough to return a person's "fight or flight" response to normal. In other cases though, therapy may only be able to minimize the impact of PTSD on an individual. In cases such as this, an individual may still experience flashbacks or anxiety in conditions that mimic the accident conditions.

Most of our long-time readers know that getting the compensation you deserve after a crash requires an accident victim to know how severely their injury or accident-related condition will affect them and for how long.

For those experiencing PTSD, it's important to note that symptoms can range from mild to severe and can last anywhere from a few months to several years. Getting a proper diagnosis and continued care from a doctor can help pinpoint the condition's impact on a person's life, which can then help determine the compensation an accident victim needs and deserves down the road.

Source: The National Institute of Mental Health, "What is post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD?" Accessed July 17, 2015



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