Car Accidents and PTSD

Studies published in the journal American Family Physician indicate that since the Vietnam war, car accidents have become the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is an anxiety disorder that occurs when a person witnesses or is involved in a traumatic or life-threatening event. The symptoms of PTSD may vary from one person to the next, but they are highly incapacitating in many cases. These symptoms include recurring dreams, flashbacks, hopelessness, extreme anxiety, insomnia, irritability, detachment from the public, loss of control, and problems with memory and concentration. These symptoms often become worse and more debilitating over time.

While it may seem like only extremely serious car accidents could result in PTSD, that’s not always true. PTSD sometimes does not surface until months after an accident. A person doesn’t have to be seriously physically injured in order to experience PTSD. However, it is important to document the signs and symptoms of PTSD, as well get a formal diagnosis from a licensed medical professional. A trial involving a PTSD diagnosis often will necessitate the results of psychological testing, assessments, and testimony by an expert witness. He or she can testify about the costs of treatment and the long-term prognosis.

Untreated symptoms can last for as many as ten years following a car accident, so it is important to seek appropriate treatment of PTSD. Treatment may include cognitive and behavioral therapy, among other things. Since it may take time for PTSD to surface, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible after an accident if you suspect that PTSD is a possible diagnosis.

PTSD is only one of the many potential injuries that you or a loved one might suffer in an accident. As a result, you need the advice and counsel of an experienced lawyer who can determine your options, based on your situation, and help you make the decisions in your case that are best for you and your family. The Madison, Wisconsin, personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan handle personal injury cases on a daily basis, and we know what it takes to get the compensation that you need. Take the first step and contact our office today to set up your free consultation with one of our Wisconsin auto accident lawyers.


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