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When a car crash leaves you with invisible wounds

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Personal Injury

Motor vehicle accidents are extremely dangerous and can leave permanent physical injuries and devastating property damage. Government figures show there are over 100,000 car accidents in Maryland each year.

In the last five years, an average of 29,680 of these crashes resulted in injury. However, one factor that drivers may not consider when it comes to car accidents is the invisible suffering that a driver could experience in the aftermath of a crash.

Car accidents are a significant cause of PTSD

Aside from physical injury, a car crash can also be mentally and emotionally devastating. A study by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) found that 25% to 33% of drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident showed symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at least 30 days after a crash. It also found that car accidents were the leading cause of PTSD among civilians.

Symptoms of trauma related to a car crash often include:

  • Nightmares about the accident and insomnia
  • Emotional detachment
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

Another major symptom of PTSD is avoidance. It is important to watch out for all of the symptoms of PTSD, but avoidance can make it particularly difficult for drivers to recover from the mental trauma of a car accident.

How can avoidance hurt a driver’s recovery?

Avoidance is when someone suffering from PTSD evades potential triggers that remind them of a trauma. In the case of a car crash, individuals might:

  • Become afraid of driving, which can directly affect their livelihoods
  • Avoid remembering or talking about anything related to the accident
  • Deny any struggles or symptoms, stemming from the social stigma about mental health

These factors can make it hard for drivers to seek help from licensed professionals or even their loved ones. This could lead them to deal with traumas even years after an accident.

It it is clear that accidents can be devastating to your physical and mental health. However, it is possible to recover from trauma and to seek compensation.