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Can I Develop PTSD after a Crash?

June is PTSD Awareness Month, and in honor of this important month, we want to shed light on a topic that is often overlooked: post-traumatic stress disorder after car accidents. In the United States, it is estimated that about 12 million people have PTSD at some point in their lives. This mental health disorder can develop after exposure to any traumatic event, including car accidents. If you are a victim of a car crash, it is important to understand the symptoms of PTSD and how to get the help and support you need.

Understanding the Trauma After a Car Accident

Along with the physical injuries car accident victims sustain, they are also susceptible to experiencing emotional trauma and mental distress following a crash. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, it has been found that car accidents are the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A motor vehicle accident can be a traumatic and life-altering event that leaves victims suffering from long-lasting psychological, physical, and emotional effects.

What Are The Symptoms?

PTSD after a wreck can manifest in many different ways, but there are some common symptoms that car accident victims may experience. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it indicates the main symptoms associated with PTSD after an accident.

Intrusive Thoughts

Victims of car accidents may have intrusive thoughts about the crash, such as replaying the accident repeatedly in their minds. These thoughts can be so persistent and distressing that they interfere with everyday life.


Many people living with PTSD will go to great lengths to avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma they experienced. For car accident victims, this may mean avoiding driving altogether or avoiding certain roads where the accident occurred.


PTSD can also cause sufferers to be in a constant state of alertness and anxiety, always on the lookout for danger. This can make everyday activities like driving very stressful and can lead to accidents.


Flashbacks are another common symptom of PTSD. A flashback is a sudden, vivid memory of the trauma that can feel like the event is happening again. Flashbacks can be so realistic that they cause physical reactions, such as increased heart rate and sweating.

If you have experienced any of these symptoms after a car accident, it is vital to seek help from a mental health professional. PTSD can be a very debilitating condition, but there are treatments available that can help. If you are struggling to cope with the trauma of your car accident, our attorneys can help you get the compensation you need to get the treatment you deserve.

If you or someone you love has developed PTSD after a car accident, we can help. Contact us today at (904) 297-2063 to schedule a free case consultation.