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Steven M. Lee, PC

Car Accidents Are Leading Causes of PTSD

A woman who broke 22 bones and was in a drug-induced coma after a serious car accident said that the hardest part of her recovery had nothing to do with her physical injuries. It was her fear of getting back behind the wheel that was the most difficult issue to overcome, as she frequently had flashbacks of the horrendous crash that almost took her life.

This accident victim’s story is similar to many others who have been seriously injured in car accidents.  Medical experts believe that car crashes are the leading cause for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Each year, over three million people are involved in auto accidents and between 10 to 45 percent of those injured will later suffer PTSD.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is more prevalent among accident victims than most people realize. PTSD is “among only a few mental disorders that are triggered by a disturbing outside event.” To be diagnosed with this disorder, the patient must have experienced some type of traumatic event where safety was a concern.  Researchers have documented through various tests that PTSD changes the biology of the brain.

'Besides this being a national public health problem, it is also taking a psychological toll. Not only are almost half of those in car accidents at a noticeable risk for developing PTSD, but there are other non symptomatic signs that affect them, like having trouble on the job and in school, maintaining friendships and not being able to enjoy leisure time,' say psychologists Edward B. Blanchard, Ph.D., and Edward J. Hickling, Psy.D., authors of After The Crash: Assessment and Treatment of Motor Vehicle Accident Survivors, which is published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

If you have been injured in a Texas car crash, you need to be aware of the symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Common symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Detachment from others
  • Fear of driving or riding in a car
  • Persistent flashbacks of the accident

Victims of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder may find themselves unable to work, too afraid to drive or ride in a car and may have difficulty parenting their children.  Since PTSD can be depilating, it is important to seek medical attention.  A doctor will be able to prescribe medication to treat the symptoms.  A mental health professional will also be able to help the victim talk through some of the fears and flashbacks associated with the car accident.

Contact Attorney Steve Lee, an experienced Texas car accident lawyer, at 800-232-3711 or 713-921-4171 if you or a family member has been injured in a car accident and is experiencing PTSD.  You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.


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