As a motor vehicle accident attorney for more than 30 years, I have seen the stress that car accident victims feel after an accident weeks, even months after their car accident.
Victims have many worries after a car accident.
First of all, car accident victims are intent on their recovery. Sometimes a recovery can be lengthy requiring out-patient physical therapy. Victims worry about who will pay their medical costs, how to juggle medical appointments and work.
Car accident victims also worry about their auto repair costs, auto replacement costs and how to get a motor vehicle to take them to and from work and their medical appointments.
One consequence of car accidents that many people are not aware of is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While most of people associate PTSD with combat, people can develop PTSD after traumatic events including sexual assault, serious injuries, car accidents or any event in which there was a threat of imminent death.
Some people who have been involved in a car accident are fearful about getting into a car or driving for some time after an accident. One friend whose car was totaled in Bellevue on Richards Road when she was hit by a speeding driver felt anxious and nervous about riding in a car for months afterwards. At the time, she felt like she would never be the same again.
When people are nervous and anxious, it's important that they slow overcome their anxious feelings by getting in a car and start driving short distances and gradually resume their normal driving patterns.
For some victims, their anxiety is a much more severe condition and they can receive a diagnosis of PTSD. PTSD can be diagnosed after the following criteria:
- A traumatic event with risk of serious injury or death to self or others and a response to that event by feeling intense fear, helplessness or horror.
- Flashback and intrusive memories of the event that persist.
- Avoidance of simulation that will cause one to think or bring back distressing memories of the event.
- Symptoms including nightmares, sleep disturbances, fainting, dizziness, chest pains, excessive sweating, inability to breathe, loss of clear hearing or vision.
- Negative feelings and mood.
- Emotional reactions when aroused.
- Significant impairment which results in a person unable to perform activities of normal life.
We counsel car accident victims with PTSD symptoms to seek treatment as symptoms can diminish over time with proper treatment which might consist of therapy and medication.
This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents in Seattle, Washington and the surrounding areas and the family of those who have been killed. We represent clients on a contingent fee basis and provide a confidential no-cost consultation.