Car Accidents and PTSD


According to the American Psychological Association, car accidents are the leading cause of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).1

There are nearly 6,000,000 car crashes every year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) .2 It is the most common traumatizing event for most people, with 1% of the population being in involved in a multi-vehicle accident every year. By the age of 30, a majority of people have been in at least one car accident involving more than one vehicle.

If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you know that it can be very traumatizing. Many accident victims report feelings of shock, anger, guilt, disbelief, fear, etc. You may find yourself becoming nervous when driving in conditions similar to those when the accident occurred, such as at night, or in a similar location. It can often take many weeks or months for these feelings to go away.

For some, especially (but not only) those involved in very serious accidents, but these feelings also may never leave. They can, in fact, develop into debilitating mental health issues such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

Always see a physician immediately following an accident

Your first priority after an accident should always be to seek medical attention if you’re injured, whether physically or emotionally. Don’t ignore your emotional well-being; make sure your physician is aware of how you feel. (And make sure to take notes following the accident, including details of your state of mind and overall mental health, such as whether you are sleeping, feeling overwhelmed, etc.)

According to a report by the Medical College of Wisconsin,3 physicians who screen for PTSD often will ask patients a series of questions, including:

  • Do you have flashbacks or nightmares of the accident?
  • Have you had difficulty driving or traveling in vehicles since the accident?

Speak with an attorney who will fight for you

Accident victims who develop PTSD face a long road to recovery. While physical injuries may heal, sometimes emotional ones linger. The trial lawyers at Wood & Craig understand the extent to which car accidents can affect a person’s wellbeing. We are dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients. If you have been injured in a car accidentmotorcycle accident or accident involving a truck, call us at for your free consultation.



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