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Can you really get PTSD from a car accident?

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2023 | Car Accidents

Car accidents do not cause only physical injuries. They can also lead to emotional injuries that can also include post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD is a mental health condition that occurs after someone experiences a life-threatening situation. It can also occur when someone experiences an extremely frightening situation.

What are PTSD symptoms?

PTSD has various symptoms and two people experiencing PTSD may not experience it the same. One of the most common symptoms though, is flashback or nightmares, where the PTSD sufferer repeatedly relieves the traumatic events.

This causes PTSD sufferers to avoid anything that could cause a trigger of these intrusive memories. For those that experience PTSD as a result of a car accident, this may paralyze them from driving or even being near a roadway or vehicle.

PTSD can also cause other negative changes in your mind and thinking, like feelings of detachment, guilt, hopelessness, anxiety, etc. Emotional changes could also occur, like irrational anger.

Is it common after a car accident?


According to several studies, car accidents may actually be the leading cause of PTSD as nearly 10% of car accident survivors develop PTSD. Your chances of developing PTSD after a car accident are affected by your perception of the severity (did you think it was life threatening), whether you felt helpless, any prior mental health problems or trauma and any lack of social support.

Remember, even if you were in a relatively minor car accident, your chances of PTSD are still valid and not zero. See your doctor and get evaluated. Make sure you are okay. PTSD is treatable and compensable, but it can get worse if left untreated.