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Motor Vehicle Accidents And PTSD

There are many words that one can use to describe a motor vehicle accident: harrowing, distressing, agonizing, and not least of all, disturbing. It is not uncommon for drivers and passengers involved in car accidents to experience post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD. This mental illness was first observed and is common among soldiers.

The Mayo Clinic defines PTSD as

“… a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”

It is undisputed that living through a dangerous event and trauma like a motor vehicle accident can cause PTSD. A study at the turn of the century identified motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder in the general population. These types of accidents were the number one trauma for men and the second most frequent trauma for women.

When you consider the vast number of times that you drive from one place to another in absolute safety without any unexpected problems, it’s not difficult to understand how a motor vehicle accident can be an upsetting, disorienting experience. Most people don’t consider an accident they experience to be traumatic unless serious injury or death occurs. However, what deeply distresses or disturbs a person and equates to trauma depends on each person’s emotional sensibilities.

Of course, accidents that cause death or life-threatening injuries have a greater likelihood of causing PTSD symptoms for those who survive the accident. Drivers may feel an ingrained responsibility for the tragic result, regardless of whether the accident was their fault. Passengers may even experience anxiety driving to and from familiar places. A short, simple trip may become difficult although taken countless times.

The symptoms of PTSD vary based on the affected individual. Some of the common symptoms include the following:

  • Depression
  • Flashbacks
  • Guilt
  • Irritability and Anxiety
  • Nightmares

After an accident, it is not uncommon for PTSD victims to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to reduce the negative effects of their symptoms. While some medications may help treat and manage PTSD symptoms, this is hardly the correct, recommended treatment. If you, a family member, or friend shows any symptoms of PTSD after any type of accident, especially a motor vehicle accident, contact a doctor immediately to address the problem and start treatment.

Once you have addressed any health-related issue such as PTSD arising from a motor vehicle accident, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about whether you have a right to compensation. A seasoned personal injury lawyer can help you assert your rights and ensure that you receive full compensation for all your injuries, including PTSD.

If you have been involved in any type of accident, Maison Law will fight for your rights to receive the compensation that you deserve! We provide the highest level of legal service in the Fresno and Visalia areas. Maison Law is located on W. Main Street in Visalia, about 50 minutes from the Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT). Pick up the phone (24 hours a day, 7 days a week and speak with a Maison Law representative. Our Central Valley personal injury attorney is here to help you! Call Maison Law at (559) 203-3333.



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