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What To Do About Car Accident PTSD?

If you find you have PTSD caused by a car accident you should contact a therapist for a treatment plan, and then contact an auto accident attorney to see if you can receive damages to finance your treatment.

PTSD is a fairly common occurrence in car crashes. It can ravage a person’s life, taking over their thoughts and mind. Because of its far-reaching effects, it is imperative to be able to diagnose the disease, and to develop a clear plan of action, so that you can take back control of your life and mind.

What is PTSD?

PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychological condition that is brought about through exposure to extremely traumatic and stressful events. These events may include active combat situations, general accidents, and even car crashes.

PTSD is not to be confused with the normal stress that arises from a traumatic experience.

For example, simply needing a little time to process a serious car crash does not necessarily mean you have PTSD. However, if you are experiencing emotional trauma that is affecting your everyday life for months, you may want to check with your doctor, and evaluate yourself for PTSD.

Is PTSD Rare After a Car Crash?

No. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that a total of nine percent of car accident survivors develop PTSD. That means nine out of every hundred car crash survivors suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. With 4.4 million seriously injured car accident survivors every year, you can expect hundreds of thousands of people to develop PTSD after a car crash. If you are having these symptoms you are not alone.

What Are The Common Symptoms of PTSD?

There are multiple possible symptoms that can indicate PTSD. A combination of these symptoms points to the existence of an underlying mental condition.


Reoccurring nightmares about the crash are common in PTSD survivors. These nightmares may make you reluctant to go to sleep and may disrupt your sleep altogether.


Flashbacks are strikes of memory that affect you during your waking hours. They could be triggered by certain stimuli, such as certain types of weather, or rough driving, or simply can appear haphazardly, affecting your life.

Increased Aggravation and Irritation

Snapping and gaining a temper more quickly in your everyday life can be a sign of anxiety. Especially, if you snap at those you didn’t usually lose your temper with before. Furthermore, consistent discomfort or anxiety can also be a cause for concern.

Being Avoidant

Specifically choosing to avoid reminders of the crash, months after the accident can be a sign of PTSD. Its one thing to dislike direct reminders, but if you are avoiding people related to the crash, or even avoiding riding in certain vehicles, you may be suffering from a form of PTSD.


PTSD also may cause depression. This type of symptom can show itself in feelings of deep sadness, and a difficulty in enjoying life, especially those activities that you once found great happiness in.

Misplaced guilt

Even where you had no cause in the accident, you may feel that you wish you had done things differently. Perhaps you wish you reacted quicker, or you used your review mirror more often. These thoughts are illogical but can become overwhelming for someone with PTSD.

What Can I do to Help with my PTSD?

There is no one size fits all when it comes to PTSD. There are multiple minor treatments that can help. Self-care, including exercise and good food is extremely important. However, two important treatments are available:

Create a routine

Creating a routine can help decrease anxiety caused by PTSD. Knowing where you need to go to work, where you are going to eat, and what time you are going to be at certain places can substantially lower certain symptoms of PTSD.

However, it is important to establish a certain plan in case this treatment does not function at one point. It is possible to lash out if the routine is broken, so you may want to create a safe word that will alert a loved that you are having a problem. This word could be something easily inserted into a conversation so as not to alert others to your issues. Or you could designate a nearby safe space you can go to quietly think or relax. This could be a familiar place, or simply a restroom stall if you need a minute.

Seek therapeutic treatment

Therapy is not for the weak. It is a treatment that helps millions of people every year. Working with a professional in therapy can be helpful, as therapists are trained to identify weak points in the mind and develop a structured treatment plan. Furthermore, they will be able to identify the most effective type of therapy for you. These may include:

Cognitive Processing Therapy:

A type of therapy that focuses on your thoughts that are preventing you from living a normal life, and finds solutions on how to get past those thoughts.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

A classical form of therapy, this therapy talks you through the unhelpful distortions you have towards your trauma and allows you gain control over your behaviors related to this trauma.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

This therapy is more novel, and focuses on physical reactions to distressing events. This type of therapy is less about talking, and more about victim introspection.

How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help Someone Who is Suffering From PTSD?

When you have PTSD, the last thing you want to do, or should do in many cases, is relive your trauma again and again. Yet, if you were to take your case to court yourself, that is exactly what you would have to do. You would be required to think about the crash hours and hours throughout the day, researching procedure and law.

When you hire a car crash attorney you no longer need to do this. While you will have to relive the trauma occasionally, you can rest assured knowing that you don’t need to do it all of the time.

Furthermore, you can relax knowing that someone is fighting for your justice, and that you do not need to face the at fault driver’s representatives all of the time, at least not without your attorney by your side.

Additionally, you may be entitled to damages if you have PTSD from a car accident someone else was liable for. These damages may be enough to pay for any therapy you need to go through to get your life back.

The other side, generally represented through an insurance company, will know the rules and law of the case, and will be inclined to try and give you a lower settlement if you have no attorney; knowing that you will have to spend hours upon hours just to get the same level of knowledge a car accident attorney already has.

Rather than put yourself through that, you should go ahead and higher an attorney who knows the law in the area, has dealt with insurance companies, and knows how to get you the justice you deserve.

PTSD is a terrible condition that no person should have to go through. But once you identify the symptoms, you can contact a professional therapist to lessen its impact on your life.

After that, it is important to contact an auto accident attorney to get your money back for your therapy and fully get your life back on track.

If you are in need of an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact Bulluck Law Group today. We offer a free case evaluation to see if we’re a good fit as well as a No Recovery, No Fee Promise.

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