A Guide for People Experiencing PTSD After a Car Accident

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a very real ailment that affects millions of sufferers worldwide. While most associate PTSD with war-time veterans, PTSD can affect any person who encounters a life-trauma or life-threatening event.

New Jersey car accident attorneys often encounter PTSD as an affliction with a lasting impact on car injury victims’ lives. Often presenting as an unsettledness or nervousness after the accident, PTSD left unmanaged can become a debilitating, long-lasting disorder that prevents full recovery from the traumatic experience.  To help, we’ve compiled a guide for people experiencing PTSD after a car accident. 

Do I Have PTSD?

Unease or restlessness after a car accident is normal. Difficulty sleeping, hesitation of being a vehicle passenger, and fears of getting behind the wheel again are common.  These feelings alone do not mean you have PTSD.  

However, if these feelings don’t subside or they begin to interfere with your ability to function and enjoy everyday life, you may be experiencing post-traumatic stress. 

Common Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress After a Car Accident:

Symptoms may start within one month but sometimes may not appear until years after the event.

  • A consistent nervousness, restlessness, or unease
  • Chronic anxiety, sadness, or worry
  • Irritability, or hostility
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Flashbacks or nightmares
  • A feeling of disconnectedness form people or events
  • Overwhelming guilt
  • Fear or reluctance to travel in a vehicle

I Think I Have PTSD from My Car Accident. Now What?

Post-traumatic stress can leave a victim feeling helpless and misunderstood.  As a result, many victims hide and manage their symptoms through self-medication with drugs or alcohol, further complicating recovery. 

There is no shame in PTSD, yet avoidance or mismanagement of post-traumatic stress may result in harm to yourself or others.

If you are suffering PTSD related symptoms after your car accident, please contact your doctor or seek professional counseling immediately. Your doctor can help answer the following questions:

  • Is PTSD typical after a car accident? 
  • Is my PTSD causing other medical conditions?
  • Do I need medication for my PTSD?
  • When will my PTSD end?
  • How do I live with PTSD? 

3 Strategies to Healthy Living with PTSD

When post-traumatic stress sets in after a car accident, physical and emotional healing can be complicated. Professional guidance, extreme self-care, and healthy routines become essential.

1. Professional Support

Medical care and psychological counseling can offer validation that your PTSD is real and can be managed.  In addition to explaining your illness, your medical provider can help you implement routines toward healing and monitor your progress in recovery. 

2. Establish Routines

Chronic feelings of helplessness and anxiety are common to PTSD. As you attempt to regain a sense of normalcy after your car accident, establishing simple, daily routines will reduce feelings of aimlessness and refocus your energies and mindset productively. 

3. Physical and Emotional Self-Care

It’s vital that you maintain healthy habits and social connections while managing PTSD. Flashbacks, anxiety, and depression are best managed when you are eating well, exercising regularly, getting adequate rest, and maintaining a close, emotionally supportive family and friends network

How can a New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer Help with My PTSD?

New Jersey car accident attorneys understand the devastating and lasting effects of car accidents on victims and their families.  Often, conditions such as PTSD present themselves over time, and sometimes much later than the accident. 

If you or a loved one is suffering PTSD after a New Jersey car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for emotional injury.  

The severity of your PTSD, resulting in medical care, lifestyle, and income-earning changes, will all be taken into account.  For a comprehensive case review by a seasoned New Jersey car accident attorney, contact our office today