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Is post-traumatic stress disorder possible after a car accident?

In a word, yes. West Virginia residents who are involved in car accidents might respond with feelings such as fear, anxiety and anger. These feelings usually dissipate as time passes and people return to their normal activities. However, for some, the trauma of an accident may become all-consuming and long-term to such a degree that it inhibits their ability to fully participate in life going forward. In such a case, the victim may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The overpowering feelings experienced at the time of a car crash are generally a natural response to a sudden and traumatic event. However, some survivors of this country's 6 million annual auto crashes may experience difficulty letting go of the accident experience. Even with the passage of time and an engaged support group, they could find themselves reliving the event over and over again and altering their lifestyles long after the accident happened. In addition to insomnia and excessive worries, these victims may go to great lengths to avoid riding in vehicles at all.

People who may be suffering from PTSD following a car accident might benefit from getting back into a normal routine. This includes driving and riding in cars even if it may be uncomfortable at first, driving defensively and staying active. Talking about the accident with a counselor or their family doctor may be another coping tool that could prove beneficial.

With the assistance of legal counsel, car accident victims may be able to determine whether the cost of PTSD treatment is recoverable in a personal injury claim. No information in this article should be construed as specific legal advice.

Source: FamilyDoctor.org, "Post-traumatic Stress After a Traffic Accident", January 05, 2015

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