Can Car Accidents Cause PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can have life-altering effects on a person for the rest of their life. According to, “PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.” Many believe PTSD is only associated with those who have served in the military and have wartime trauma. Although, you can have PTSD from car accident traumas. These flashbacks and traumatic memories from an automobile accident can stay with you forever. 

The list of PTSD symptoms found on may include:

  1. Psychologically re-experiencing the trauma (e.g., intrusive thoughts about the accident, distressing dreams about the accident);
  2. Persistent avoidance of thoughts or situations associated with the accident (e.g., reluctance or refusal to drive, actively avoiding thoughts about the MVA);
  3. Numbing of emotional responsiveness (e.g., significantly reduced or absence of emotions, feeling detached from others);
  4. Increased physical excitement and being on edge leading to angry outbursts for no reason. (e.g., exaggerated startle, irritability, disturbed sleep, nightmares);
  5. Refusing to talk about the events or what happened;
  6. Depression.

Not all victims of PTSD experience all the symptoms, all at once. They can be spread out over a lifetime, or you may only experience one symptom. says that car accidents are the most common cause of PTSD among the general population, not military personnel. Suppose you have experienced PTSD from a car accident. In that case, you should treat it the same as you would any other car accident injury and receive help from a physician. 

If you have PTSD caused by a car accident, the legal system allows you to make compensation claims for its impact on your life. Even if your physical injuries are minor, it is still possible to suffer from PTSD because of your reaction to the event.  

According to, some indicators that one can develop PTSD from a car accident are: 

  1. The severity of injuries suffered in the wreck,
  2. Whether any fatalities were involved,
  3. Recovery time from your injuries, and 
  4. History of traumatic experiences. 

To claim PTSD in court, you must prove it through expert testimony. Expert testimony will establish if you have been diagnosed with PTSD, whether your condition is related to a car accident, and your prognosis.

If you have PTSD from a car accident, it is crucial to get your case reviewed by an attorney. The Dixie Law Group is a personal injury law firm in Kentucky with years of experience involving car accident claims. We want to advocate for you by representing your claim. 

Call us at 502-290-2397, and you will receive a 100% free consultation with an attorney to review your case.

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We work closely with our clients and offer vigorous representation both in and out of the courtroom. If you would like to learn more about our services, please reach out to our office today.

You can contact our lawyers in Louisville at 502-806-8711 or contact us online. Initial consultations are always free.


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