Being involved in a serious car accident can have a devastating impact on those involved in the following days, especially when the crash resulted in a death or major injury.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, about one percent of the US population is injured in a crash each year. In addition, roughly three million injuries annually are related to traffic accidents.
Out of that number, about nine percent of serious crash survivors develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental health condition that can bring on severe anxiety in those affected.
What are the statistics regarding crash-related PTSD?
In addition to PTSD, survivors of serious crashes may develop depression or anxiety. Here is how the numbers break down:
- On average, about 60 percent of people who seek mental health treatment following a crash are diagnosed with PTSD.
- Between 3-53 percent of crash survivors diagnosed with PTSD are also found to have a mood disorder, such as depression.
- Another 27 percent are found to have an anxiety disorder.
- Fifteen percent develop a long-term fear of driving.
What are the risk factors in crash-related PTSD?
According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, these are the most common risk factors:
- Prior to a crash: Crash survivors could have had mental health issues related to incidents prior to the crash. This may include trauma from previous events, pre-existing depression and anxiety, and poor social support.
- At the time of a crash: The severity of a crash and the injuries accrued or the loss of a loved one can result in PTSD.
- After a crash: PTSD can be caused or prolonged by factors involving the length of recovery, level of social support, and ability to readjust to social and work life.
What are the symptoms to look out for?
Those who suffer PTSD after a crash may experience:
- Increased heart rate and anxiety when reminded of the traumatic incident
- Feeling on edge or jumpy when driving
- Being extra watchful and aware of surroundings
- Avoiding driving altogether to not be reminded of a traumatic crash
The Department of Veteran Affairs also said that crash survivors diagnosed with PTSD are at risk of sustaining another injury or developing additional chronic pain. That’s why as soon as the symptoms are present, crash survivors should seek immediate medical attention.
This may be costly and may require time away from work and daily activities. Luckily, if you were injured in a crash, you have legal options. Pursuing a car accident claim may help you cover the costs but it is critical that you first consult with an experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney.
The legal team at The Hanamirian Firm, P.C. knows how to handle complex cases like yours. We’ll fight to hold negligent drivers accountable and take on stubborn insurance companies.
Don’t hesitate. Contact us online or call our law office at (215) 735-4235 and schedule your free case evaluation today.