Can You Get PTSD From a Car Wreck?

Every person hopes to leave their house and get back safely. No one leaves their home thinking they'll get into a car accident, and all drivers work hard to ensure they get to their destinations in one piece. However, even with much caution, you may still be in an accident. Let's look at some of the common causes of car accidents.

  • Distracted driving

This is one of the major causes of accidents. Many things distract drivers when they're on the road, and it's usually hard for the brain to focus on multiple tasks. You risk getting into a car accident whenever you're eating, using your phone, or trying to finish getting ready as you drive.

  • Drunk driving

This is probably the most common cause of car accidents. It has caused many deaths in all parts of the world. Most countries now have strict laws to prevent people from driving while drunk and reduce the number of car accidents and fatalities caused by the same.

  • Speeding

Drivers have all types of reasons for speeding. You could be late to work or an appointment and are trying to beat the traffic. You could also be excited about your new car and be tempted to drive at high speed to test it out. It could also be an emergency, and you need to be somewhere in a short period. No matter your reason for speeding, it's important to remember that driving at an excessive speed puts you at a high risk of getting into a car accident. 

  • Reckless driving

There is no excuse for driving recklessly, and the result of it is never good. It puts people in harm's way and is a major reason why many people are caught in accidents, even if they are driving cautiously. 

  • Fatigue

Extreme tiredness can cause you to get into a car accident. It's advisable to stay away from the wheel when you're feeling fatigued because you can easily fall asleep and cause an accident.

Effects of Car Accidents

Car accidents are always unfortunate and can leave you with minor or severe injuries. If you're lucky, you get to escape the ordeal without any injuries, but it's always advisable to go to the hospital and get a proper checkup. There are instances where you may think you're not hurt, but a few days later, you start feeling pain in certain parts of your body. 

Internal injuries may not be felt immediately but can bring complications later on. These can be fatal if unattended, so don't disregard going to the hospital even after a minor car wreck. Accidents may not always cause physical injuries. Most of them yield more emotional and mental harm than physical. 

Most individuals in a car accident are traumatized and may not be able to drive a car for a long time. This is referred to as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is a disorder experienced when you go through a traumatic event such as a terrorist attack, natural disaster, or car accident. 

What Are Some of the Symptoms of PTSD?

When you've gone through a traumatic experience, it's not uncommon to have trauma symptoms. However, these disappear after some time. The symptoms may start within a month of the traumatic event but may also happen after a couple of years have passed. The symptoms that don't disappear and are not dealt with can develop into PTSD. Here are some of the signs you should look out for.

PTSD symptoms can be grouped into four groups. They include:

Cognitive Symptoms

These involve negative thoughts about yourself and the world. You may have been someone who always had a positive outlook toward life, but you now become hopeless about the future. Other cognitive symptoms you should look out for include:

  • Memory loss especially regarding the details of the traumatic event
  • Having a hard time maintaining your relationships
  • Difficulty trusting people, even close family members and friends.
  • Failure to find joy in the things you once loved and enjoyed doing.
  • Generally not feel happy about life.

Avoidance Symptoms

These are some of the most common symptoms among PTSD patients. You avoid talking about the traumatic event and will act withdrawn whenever the topic is brought up. You will also avoid places and people that remind them of the traumatic event. You will even change your routine if that's what it takes to avoid going to certain areas or meeting certain people. 

Reactivity Symptoms

These involve physical and emotional reactions. You may quickly get angry or startled if you have reactivity symptoms. You may also start feeling stressed by situations that did not bother you.

The reactivity symptoms may cause trouble sleeping or concentrating at work or school. Some people start drinking alcohol, smoking, and using other drugs to cope with PTSD. It's critical to deal with these symptoms to avoid escalation and addictions, which cause more harm.

Intrusive Thoughts

These are characterized by flashbacks and nightmares about the traumatic event. You may also have panic attacks whenever something triggers you, and you feel like you're reliving the event. Re-experiencing symptoms can also be triggered by objects, sounds, people, or places that remind you of the event.

How To Deal With These Symptoms

Every person deals with PTSD differently. However, if you feel like you're getting overwhelmed, you should get some help. If you're still experiencing PTSD symptoms after a month, it may be time to consider seeing a doctor or mental health professional. If you're experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out to a family member or friend and let them get you some help. Therapy has helped many individuals through tough times and can help you if you're struggling with PTSD.


As we mentioned earlier, no one starts their day expecting to go through a traumatic event, but sometimes it's inevitable. If you're in a car accident and get out of it without any physical injuries, the last thing you should deal with is the legal issues that follow. Contact us on our number 502-842-4335 at Dixie Law Group, PSC, and we can help you sort out any legal issues that come up as you recuperate. We aim to ensure our clients feel safe and focus on their recovery. 


Reach Out To Us For Help

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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If you would like to speak with an attorney, reach out to us. You can call our firm at 502-273-5178 or contact us online.

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