Post-traumatic stress disorder, while often thought of as something that is only suffered by military service members or victims of abuse or violent crimes, is a psychological disorder experienced by more people in Florida and elsewhere than most may realize. Anyone who has been through a traumatic experience can suffer from PTSD. For the general population, motor vehicle accidents are actually the number one cause of this disorder. Who is most likely to suffer PTSD following a car accident?
In any given year, roughly 2.5 million people in the United States suffer injuries in automobile accidents. The National Institute of Mental Health claims that nearly 40% of these individuals end up developing PTSD. Certain risk factors increase one’s odds of developing this psychological disorder following a car crash, such as:
- Lack of a support system
- Family history/prior history of psychological problems
- Prior trauma
- One’s perception of the traumatic experience
Of these particular risk factors, some researchers believe that one’s perception of a traumatic event is the main predictor of PTSD. The stronger the perceived threat to one’s life, the more likely one is to develop PTSD. Signs that one is suffering from PTSD include avoidance behaviors and thoughts, development of unhealthy emotional responses, overall negative outlook and invasive memories. These symptoms may become more severe over time if not treated and can take a serious toll on one’s quality of life.
According to state laws, documented psychological damages that occur as the result of a car accident may be compensable. These damages may be economic or noneconomic in nature. An experienced personal injury attorney will have the ability to review one’s case and, if appropriate, assist one in pursuing maximum relief for one’s losses by filing claims in a Florida civil court.