Car Accidents Resulting In PTSD: How You Can Move Forward
In a car accident, there are countless types of injuries that you may sustain. You can suffer from broken bones, bruises, lacerations and cuts, spinal cord damage, and even traumatic brain injuries. However, some of the most difficult injuries to overcome are the ones you can’t see.
The aftermath of a car wreck can be devastating in terms of physical and financial challenges, but the emotional aspects often take longer to heal from because of the impact they can have on a victim and their abilities moving forward.
Many individuals associate the term “post-traumatic stress” solely with military personnel, but there are a number of disasters that can cause this emotional condition. For car accident victims, it’s imperative to understand what you can do after the crash to move forward in a healthy and positive manner.
How Does PTSD Affect a Car Accident Victim?
In any traumatic event, the victim’s brain works in a different manner when retaining memories. The brain associates the serious factor with a memory of fear and anxiety, creating countless potential obstacles that may be encountered.
Because the brain associates the memory in a negative way, any situation that presents similar dangers or feelings of danger in the victim can cause a flashback. This is often a moment in which the victim feels fear and anxiety, creating a feeling of being outside their own body.
This dissociation is common when someone suffers post-traumatic stress and feels similar to highway hypnosis—have you ever driven from point A to point B, yet sometimes don’t remember the entire journey? Dissociation almost feels as though there’s nothing around you.
Should one of these flashbacks occur when the individual is driving, it could cause serious panic. As such, many victims of car accidents with PTSD may avoid getting into a vehicle at all. This can impact the way they live their lives.
Over a long period of time, the individual may experience a number of difficulties, some of which include having flashbacks in what may seem as a safe setting. For instance, if when the accident occurred there was a sound of a blaring car horn, this sound may be a trigger for fear and anxiety. As such, anytime the injured individual hears a car horn, they may relive the traumatic memory.
What Can a Victim Do to Deal with the Effects of Post-Traumatic Stress?
For a victim dealing with PTSD, knowing what can be done to help with the impact caused by the condition is very important. These are both long-term and immediate helpful steps that can be taken to cope with the feelings associated with PTSD.
- Create a List of Ways to Get Out of Stressful Situations: When you encounter a situation that creates fear and anxiety due to a flashback, you should have ways that you can use to remove yourself from the situation. This can include breathing exercises or going for a walk to get away from the situation.
- Remember the method R.A.I.N.: R.A.I.N. broken down means you should recognize that your emotions are going to exist after a car accident. Allow them to do so and investigate why they happened. Finally, not letting it define who you are.
- Therapy Can Help: So many individuals suffering from PTSD avoid therapy because they don’t want to admit that they’re experiencing trauma. However, therapy can help manage the triggers you experience and the ways you handle them when they occur.
- Build a Strong Support System: Your family and friends can prove to be a very beneficial support system when you encounter a difficult situation. For instance, you can have one of them who is your designated call when you experience a trigger. Have people you can call to help calm you down.
Can Legal Action Positively Help with PTSD?
While legal action doesn’t help with the mental and psychological aspects of PTSD, it can help in a way. For instance, the overall costs of the lifestyle changes, therapy expenses, and more can get expensive when trying to deal with the condition.
While legal action doesn’t physically help, it can help to alleviate some of the overall costs associated with it.
For many, taking legal action can also give you a bit of closure and justice regarding the situation. For many, it’s about feeling as though the party responsible for your physical and emotional damage was held accountable.
Taking legal action can help with the overall mindset you feel following the accident, but it’s imperative to hire a lawyer who can keep you from being exposed to the complex legal system and keep you focused on your recovery.
At Peterson & Associates, we recognize how difficult it can be to walk away from a car accident, especially when you consider the damage done and the long-term impact that can be suffered. As such, you need to take the necessary steps to pursue compensation from the negligent party.
Our Kansas City car accident attorneys work hard on your behalf because you deserve it. We’ll compile a case strategy designed on your specific needs and best interests and represent you to the best of our ability in an effort to help you walk away with the most favorable outcome possible after your injury.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and suffer from physical and emotional damages, we’re here to help. Call our firm today at (816) 298-8708 and speak with our team about pursuing the necessary legal action to secure compensation.