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PTSD often develops after car accidents

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

If you’ve been involved in a Missouri motor vehicle collision, it’s imperative to closely monitor your physical and mental health. Injuries such as broken bones, lacerations and contusions are immediately apparent. However, some injuries can experience a delay or not be noticeable right away, including mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which often occurs after car accidents. 

Data shows that nearly 40% of all car accident survivors in the United States develop PTSD. Your risk for this type of injury increases if you have a family history of mental health problems. You’re also more likely to suffer PTSD if you have experienced prior trauma in your life. If another person’s negligence was responsible for the accident that caused PTSD, you may be eligible for restitution. 

Recognizing PTSD symptoms following a car accident 

When car accidents occur, it’s not uncommon for recovering victims to experience drastic fluctuations in their emotions. If you’ve been in an accident, you might notice that some recovery days are better than others. One moment, you might feel okay, while the next, you have intense fear, anxiety or anger. When such emotions do not go away, it is a sign of post-traumatic stress. 

If you have PTSD, you might have trouble functioning daily. If your condition is severe, you might be unable to return to work, which can spark additional problems in life, such as financial distress. Various treatments may be available to provide support, such as therapy or prescription medications. Such treatments are expensive, however, even if you have insurance.  

Holding drivers accountable for negligence 

Many Missouri accidents are preventable were it not for driver negligence. If a drunk driver hits you, for instance, your injuries would likely have been avoidable if the other driver had not gotten behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. Another example of driver negligence is someone running a red light or failing to stop at a stop sign. These momentary actions can have far-reaching and disastrous consequences. When you suffer PTSD or other injuries because a driver disregarded traffic laws, state law allows you to seek compensation for damages. 

Filing a personal injury claim means that a plaintiff must provide evidence in court to show that the defendant owed a duty of care, failed to fulfill it, and thus caused a car accident that resulted in physical, financial or emotional damages to the plaintiff. In time, you might be able to manage your PTSD symptoms. However, there’s no reason you should incur expenses associated with treatment when another person’s negligence was a direct cause of your injuries.