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Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder & Car Accidents

 

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is caused by an event where the victim feels afraid and fearful for his or her life.  It is one of the few disorders that is triggered by an outside disturbing event.  Research has shown that Posttraumatic Stress Disorder can be caused by a car accident.  In fact, some experts have suggested that 10 to 45 percent of those injured in auto accidents will develop this disorder.  Car accidents are therefore believed to be a leading cause of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in the United States.

Since physical injuries, such as broken bones and torn ligaments, are immediately apparent, mental injuries often go undiagnosed.  Psychologists Edward B. Blanchard, Ph.D., and Edward J. Hickling, Psy.D. have called Posttraumatic Stress Disorder a national public health problem.  These two psychologists authored the publication, “After The Crash: Assessment and Treatment of Motor Vehicle Accident Survivors,” which was published by the American Psychological Association (APA).  They were quoted as saying, “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.” 

Feelings of shock, nervousness, guilt and anger are typical after an auto accident, but can lead to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.  Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder include problems with concentration, detachment from others, insomnia, persistent thoughts about the accident and fear of driving or riding in a car.  Posttraumatic Stress Disorder can also affect a person’s ability to maintain relationships.

A mental health professional can diagnose Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.  One of the main factors in determining the diagnosis is whether or not the patient was in a situation in which he or she feared his or her safety or if the patient experienced something that made him or her feel fear, helplessness, or horror. 

If you have been injured in a car crash, it may be worth your time to be evaluated for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.  This disorder can severely impact your life and it is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of the symptoms. 

When your car accident is caused by a negligent driver and you develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, you may be entitled to compensation.  Contact an experienced Virginia car accident lawyer for advice regarding your case.  Call Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas, LLP at 888-907-2631 for our Warrenton office or 800-741-1012 for our Culpeper office to review your accident case.