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Can a serious crash cause PTSD? Researchers say yes.

Vancouver car accident attorneyA car accident can come with little or no warning. For some people, it may cause nothing more than a physical injury. However, researchers are now looking more closely at car accidents as a common cause of traumatic stress.

Research referenced by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs concluded that one percent of the US population sustains a crash-related injury each year — accounting for about three million injuries annually. In addition, serious car accidents are a leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for those who survive them.

What is the likelihood of developing PTSD after a serious crash?

According to research, roughly nine percent of people who survive serious crashes end up developing PTSD. Additional mental health conditions may include depression and anxiety. Here are the statistics:

  • An average of 60% of people who seek mental health treatment after a crash are diagnosed with PTSD.
  • Somewhere between 3% - 53% of crash survivors with PTSD also have a mood disorder, such as depression.
  • Another 27% of crash survivors with PTSD have an anxiety disorder.
  • 15% have a fear of driving.

Pre-existing mental health conditions like anxiety and depression can be risk factors in crash-related PTSD. Additional contributory risk factors may include the severity of a crash or injuries involved, loss of a loved one or other fatality, length of recovery, level of social support, and the ability to cope with the aftermath.

How important is seeking medical treatment?

Those who suffer from PTSD after a crash are likely to suffer another injury or chronic pain. Research indicates that half of PTSD crash victims who do not seek therapy for mental health experience symptoms for more than six months.

In the aftermath of a crash, risk factors for PTSD include:

  • Rapid heart rate and anxiety when a traumatic event is recalled
  • Feeling jumpy or on edge when driving
  • Being extra watchful and aware of surroundings
  • Refraining from driving to avoid reminders of a traumatic crash

The trauma caused by a serious crash can take a toll on your mental, emotional, and physical health. It may prevent you from returning to work or engaging in activities you once enjoyed. What's worse, trauma can have painful physical symptoms.

That's why it's important to get medical treatment immediately after a crash. While the medical bills and time away from work can be financially devastating, you may be compensated for your damages through a car accident claim. An attorney at the Scott Law Firm will fight aggressively on your behalf to help maximize your compensation.

To find out what your legal options are, contact us online and set up your free initial consultation.

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