Why Significant Car Accidents Can Sometimes Lead to PTSD

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Car accidents can happen suddenly and without warning, and the consequences can be severe. Yet, it's amazing how many people are able to cope with the immediate aftermath of such an accident and can appear to be perfectly okay with no obvious after-effects. Yet even though they may not be physically injured and fortunate to be able to walk away, this does not mean that they are, indeed, okay. What can happen when the dust settles, and how can an emotional injury cause havoc going forward?

Why Symptoms Take Time

The human brain is wired to deal with dangerous situations and will release copious amounts of a hormone known as cortisol. This is also called the "stress response" hormone and can make it easier to deal with the immediate repercussions of a dramatic event. This is why you may not feel immediate emotional or psychological pain in this type of situation but may nevertheless go on to develop PTSD.

Ongoing Issues

Physical injuries can, of course, be very difficult to deal with, but often the effects are temporary. Emotional trauma is an entirely different matter, and you may suffer from a range of symptoms going forward that can be increasingly hard to cope with.

It's not unheard of for people in this situation to develop general feelings of anxiety that follow them around every day. They may sometimes suffer from panic attacks or behavioural changes leading to feelings of elation at one moment and unbearable sadness at another. They may notice changes in their sleeping habits, may eat a lot less or binge and lose interest in everyday activities or hobbies.

Seeking Compensation

If you find yourself in this situation, you should get professional help and seek compensation where possible. If the accident was no fault of your own, you should pursue the other driver and their insurance company for help with your ongoing problems.

Gathering Evidence

To do this, you will need to document your symptoms carefully. It may be a good idea to keep a daily journal, where you go into detail about how the symptoms are affecting your life. Talk with friends, family or co-workers and get them to provide some documented observations to show how they have noticed significant differences in your behaviour.

You may also need to get a qualified doctor's report and liaise with a mental health specialist who will know what to look for and can certainly diagnose the condition.

Expert Guidance

It is not always easy to prove a case of psychological disorder following a car crash. For this reason, get support from a lawyer who specialises in personal injury claims, and they can guide you through the process.

For more information, contact personal injury solicitors near you.