PTSD after car accident

PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, an often debilitating mental health condition that 6% of the population of the United States will experience at some point in their lives. In any given year, approximately 12 million adults in the U.S. will suffer from PTSD. This is not to say that children are immune; PTSD is triggered by trauma – and that can occur at any age. According to the National Center for PTSD, 3% – 15% of girls and 1% – 6% of boys who have experienced trauma go on to develop PTSD.

Many people assume that trauma is something experienced only by soldiers who have been involved in combat, survivors of violent crimes, or victims of abuse. But automobile accidents are also traumatic. In fact, the American Psychological Association reports that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of PTSD in the United States. According to the NIH (National Institutes of Health), 6% – 25% of children and adolescents and 39.2% of adult survivors of those accidents go on to develop PTSD.

Unlike physical injuries, PTSD is not something that can show up on an X-ray or MRI. Someone can’t tell simply by looking at you that you are suffering. Diagnosis of PTSD and making a clear connection between the symptoms and the triggering event are also complicated by the fact that symptoms may not manifest until weeks, months, or even years after the motor vehicle accident. However, medical professionals and mental health providers are skilled at diagnosing PTSD, and an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney will be able to build a strong case for you.

PTSD Symptoms

Be aware that it is perfectly normal to experience depression, anxiety, numbness, shakiness, and a host of other negative symptoms immediately after experiencing an event in which you expected to die or witnessed the death of another person. After being involved in a crash, many people have nightmares, notice that their heart is racing whenever they think about what happened, or have trouble sleeping or relaxing. They keep reliving the experience in their minds even though it is the last thing they want to do. This is called Post-traumatic Stress and it doesn’t require treatment. The symptoms should begin to abate within a few days of the accident.

However, if symptoms such as the ones below persist for a period of time or get worse, it is time to seek help from your doctor or medical professional. You may have Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and there are treatments for this.

  1. Intrusive thoughts about the accident: This includes recurrent memories, flashbacks, nightmares, or physical reactions if something reminds you of the accident.
  2. Avoidance: This includes trying to avoid talking or thinking about the accident, being reluctant or afraid to drive, and avoiding any person or place that could remind you of the accident.
  3. Negative changes in your essence: These can include depression, mood swings, apathy, memory problems, and relationship issues.
  4. Physical and emotional changes: These can include irrational anger, a racing heart, sleep disturbances, a feeling of always being on alert, or self-destructive behaviors like substance abuse.

PTSD Diagnosis

  • Your doctor may first perform a physical exam to make sure that your symptoms aren’t being caused by any medical issues.
  • You will be asked questions about your thoughts and feelings that act as an initial screening.
  • If it is suspected that you may be suffering from PTSD, you will receive an in-depth assessment or psychological evaluation from a mental health professional.
  • Criteria from the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) will be used.


PTSD is a serious condition that can cause pain and suffering. Not only is it unpleasant, but it can also be debilitating to the point where you may not be able to continue to work while you recover. Even if you are able to work, you may have missed income because of missed days due to doctor or therapy appointments or depression.

There is no clear-cut formula to predict your compensation amount because everyone’s accident and PTSD presents differently and because there are so many variables involved. However, we will dedicate ourselves to helping you gather the information and documents you need to create the strongest possible case.

The car accident attorneys at Flores Law Group will work to get you the compensation that you need for your current and future medical expenses.

We will deal with insurance companies for you, and if necessary, we will use our courtroom experience to build a case to prove your pain and suffering.

Indiana’s Statute of Limitations:

If you have suffered a car accident in the state of Indiana, you have a limited amount of time to seek legal action by filing a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault driver. The statute of limitations (Under Indiana Code section 34-11-2-4) for car accidents involving personal injury is only two years. After that time, you can no longer file to receive compensation through legal processes if it has not already begun.

Don’t wait to seek the counsel you need to cover your injuries–contact us at Flores Law Group today!

The experienced team at Flores Law Group will help you gather the information you need and will take on the fight with insurance companies so that you can focus on recovery. Fill out our form for a free car accident consultation, give us a call at 317-900-2556, or stop by the office to find out how we can get you the compensation you deserve.

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