Are You Suffering from PTSD After a Car Accident in Fort Lauderdale?
Gregg Hollander | February 11, 2022 | Car Accidents
After a car crash, you’re probably worried, hurt, and confused. People think of car wrecks causing physical injuries and damage to the car, but mental and emotional trauma can also occur. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is quite common after a wreck, especially in young children.
If you feel anxious about driving again, you have nightmares, or you’re unable to concentrate on school or work, you might be experiencing PTSD.
PTSD After Car Accidents: How Does It Develop?
Post-traumatic stress disorder develops after a traumatic event, with psychological symptoms that can materialize days or weeks later. Not everyone suffers PTSD from car accidents, and some individuals may have a more severe case than others.
Whether you develop PTSD doesn’t always correlate to how severe the accident was.
Common symptoms of PTSD include:
- Vivid nightmares that cause you to awake full of adrenaline
- Flashbacks of the accident
- Avoiding reminders of the accident, such as not going down the road where it occurred or not driving anymore
- Increased irritability or agitation
- Numbness or feelings of depression
- Guilt, even if you didn’t cause the accident
Young children may exhibit signs of PTSD by reenacting the accident while playing.
PTSD symptoms often require therapy and treatment. Sometimes, people may self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, worsening PTSD symptoms.
How Can I Treat Post-Accident PTSD?
Everyone responds differently to PTSD after a car crash. It’s important to know you’re not alone, and that emotional distress after a car wreck is normal. Talk to a friend or loved one, or seek counseling from a therapist with experience dealing with trauma after a car accident.
Other ways that people manage PTSD include following their regular routine as much as possible, which gives them something predictable to hold onto when they feel anxious. Seeking refuge in everyday activities and hobbies can help you feel more “normal.”
Flashbacks and anxiety are normal after an accident, and you may need to develop strategies for dealing with them.
For example, perhaps driving or getting into a car causes anxiety. Working from home may be one option until your symptoms subside. Other times, you may feel better with “baby steps,” such as driving around the block.
Seeking support from friends and loved ones is essential. If you start experiencing symptoms when you’re out, tell your companion you need to leave or find a quiet spot to calm down. Being open about your feelings can help you feel safer and more secure, thereby reducing your PTSD symptoms.
Don’t neglect your physical health. Good nutrition and physical activity are important. Light exercise helps your brain regulate your emotions. Plus, spending time in the sun produces Vitamin D, essential for mood stability.
Dealing with PTSD is an ongoing process, and it may take months or years to recover fully.
Does PTSD After Car Accidents Affect My Claim?
You and your personal injury lawyer may have filed a claim for your physical injuries and property damage, but it may not have included your emotional injuries.
If you’re participating in therapy to work through your PTSD, you can include your therapy costs in your claim. Medical expenses, including inpatient care and medication, can also be included in your claim.
Additionally, you may claim lost time at work if you’re unable to drive because of the accident. For example, if your job requires driving and you can’t perform the task, lost wages can be part of your car accident case.
Every claim is different, so whether or not you can include your emotional damages is a discussion to have with your lawyer. You may also need to be evaluated by a psychologist to establish your claim of post-accident PTSD.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact the location nearest you for a free consultation:
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401