What Is the Risk of PTSD Following a Car Accident?

Car accidents are often extremely traumatic and stressful events. According to recent studies, people involved in car crashes are at high risk for psychological problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although physical injuries are usually noticeable soon after an accident, psychological and emotional injuries may take longer to manifest symptoms.

PTSD is among the most common mental health issues after an accident. If the accident that caused the injuries was because of another driver’s negligence, you might be eligible for compensation according to local and state laws. Victims of car accidents should contact a Pompano Beach car accident lawyer for legal counsel. 

Read on to learn all you need to know about the risks of PTSD after a car accident in Florida. 

What Is PTSD?

PTSD is a diagnosable mental health condition that affects people who have experienced a traumatic event. Experienced or observed traumatic events that can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder include:

  • Sexual assault
  • Violent acts
  • Natural disasters
  • Motor-vehicle accidents
  • Witnessing the death of a loved one

Accident victims may experience a wide range of symptoms after such a traumatic occurrence, from constantly thinking about the accident to feeling anxious even when they’re nowhere near a car or the crash scene. Extreme mental distress and broken bonds with loved ones are some of the many adverse outcomes of PTSD.

Both those directly involved and those who witness a car crash might experience significant trauma. An automobile collision can cause severe physical harm and terrifying anxiety. One never knows how the vehicle will move, and that uncertainty can make victims fear for their life. TBIs, paralysis, and amputations are just a few examples of the catastrophic injuries that victims can sustain in car crashes. However, even very slight injuries can have a significant psychological impact on the victim.

Signs of PTSD After an Accident

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder following a car crash can be diverse and may differ from one person to the next. Victims may still have PTSD even if they do not exhibit all of the classic symptoms. However, the following are indicators that a person may have PTSD.

Intrusive Thoughts and Emotions

Intrusive thoughts are a common symptom of PTSD, which victims of car accidents often experience. Despite their unwelcome character, most people regularly experience intrusive thoughts. 

The severity and difficulty of these intrusive thoughts may increase dramatically for people with PTSD. They can make the victim feel helpless, uncomfortable, or progressively enraged.


Someone who has PTSD may have difficulty controlling their anger concerning and independently of the traumatic experience. Anger might be triggered by anything that brings back painful memories of the disaster, especially emotions of helplessness. Sometimes triggers unrelated to the trauma can cause the person with PTSD to explode in anger or rage.

Depression and Anxiety

Some people experience depression after being seriously injured in a vehicle accident. However, depression is often a more prominent symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder. If depression makes it hard for the person to go about their daily activities, they may benefit from talking to a therapist or perhaps taking medication.


A person suffering from PTSD may find it difficult to move on from the traumatic experience of an automobile accident. They may keep replaying the incident in their head. Others try to place blame, search for ways they could have prevented the accident, or try to learn from the experience for the future. 

Many people with PTSD dwell on the details of their traumas, recalling and reliving the events repeatedly. During a flashback, the person may relive the traumatic event rather than reflect on the details. All of your senses, from sight to sound to touch, might trigger memories of the tragedy. 

Sometimes anything like a smell, sound, or sight might remind the person of the accident and produce flashbacks. Internal rather than external factors may trigger some flashbacks.

Those who have PTSD after being in an automobile accident may have increased anxiety upon re-entering a vehicle in any capacity. Driving by the crash scene might make one feel even more uneasy. 


To get through this challenging time, some persons with PTSD turn to their loved ones for support, while others choose to withdraw from social interaction. Accident survivors often feel alone in their struggles, as if no one else can relate to what they’re going through. With worsening PTSD symptoms, the victim may cut off contact with everyone, including those closest to them.

Disrupted Sleep Cycles

An increase in sleep duration or frequency is a common PTSD symptom. While some people have no trouble falling asleep, others may have a much more difficult time. It may be challenging to get a decent night’s sleep if you’re having nightmares about the accident and other events. 

Concentration Issues

People with post-traumatic stress disorder often have trouble focusing on anything, especially if it has nothing to do with their traumatic experiences. Victims may have difficulty focusing on their jobs or routine domestic duties. People with PTSD may find it difficult to enjoy activities they once enjoyed. 


It takes a lot of strength to recover from any injury. Many people in vehicle accidents report feeling more tired than usual, requiring more prolonged periods of relaxation afterward, or avoiding activities they used to love because of this. 


Many motorists would go out of their way to increase their awareness of the traffic around them after seeing an accident that caused significant damage or injury. However, people with PTSD may go to extremes; some may try to pay attention to everything around them while driving, while others may exhibit heightened jumpiness and the urge to pay attention to everything in other settings. 


Many people with PTSD due to an automobile accident may want to avoid anything remotely resembling the event. There’s a chance that some people won’t want to go back into a car after an accident, much less into the one they were in. Some people may take a considerably longer route to avoid passing by the accident scene. Sometimes, the person will do anything to avoid getting behind the wheel or even into a car.

Compensation for Damages Caused by PTSD After a Florida Car Crash

Local state laws allow accident victims to seek compensation for damages related to PTSD in their Florida car accident claims. However, discussing this with a seasoned Pompano Beach car accident lawyer can help determine whether the injuries meet the threshold for filing a car accident lawsuit. 

Victims can sue for economic and non-economic damages, including compensation for the cost of therapy or counseling for mental health disorders like PTSD. Since Florida’s no-fault laws are complex, it is best to consult an experienced car accident attorney after a crash. An attorney will help explain your legal options and boost your chances of a successful claim. 

Contact Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers

Our personal injury lawyers at Frankl Kominsky have years of experience fighting for the rights of accident victims. If you or a loved one had PTSD after a motor vehicle accident, call us today at (855) 800-8000 to schedule a free consultation. 

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