PTSD Following a Car Accident

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “Should I take photographs of the property damage sustained to my car, of the accident scene, or of my visible injuries following an accident?”


Whether a car accident is a minor fender bender or a major accident resulting in a lot of damage, the experience can be traumatic. After an accident, everyone is quick to assess the physical injuries that might have been sustained. Physical injuries are not the only possible result after an accident, however. Studies show that approximately 9% of people who are involved in a car accident develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD carries its own risks outside of physical injuries and must be treated like a physical injury.


depressed-Charlotte-Monroe-Lake-Norman-Personal-Injury-Law-Firm-300x248Diagnosing a mental illness can be more difficult than diagnosing a physical illness. PTSD can manifest in many different ways, depending on the person. The following are common symptoms that you, or someone you know, might be suffering from PTSD.


  • Flashbacks of the accident that result in a severe emotional response
  • Avoiding people, places, or experiences that are related to the trauma endured in the car accident
  • Severe anxiety
  • Problems with sleeping or concentrating
  • Depression
  • Lack of interest in activities previously participated in before the accident
  • Isolating yourself from others


Generally, someone suffering from PTSD can suffer from severe emotional trauma set in motion from small triggers. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Seeking treatment for PTSD early on is best.


It is important to note, however, that not everyone will suffer from PTSD after a car accident. Being involved in an accident can be a huge mental strain for some. This can be a temporary thing that resolves itself after time has passed, but you should still seek help if you think that you or a loved one might be suffering from PTSD. There are certain people who are more prone to developing PTSD. These people include those with a history of mental illness, a history of mental illness in their family, those whose careers expose them to trauma regularly, or those with substance abuse issues. Of course, this does not mean that someone not prone to developing PTSD will not still develop it, and you should still seek medical help nonetheless if you think you might have the debilitating condition.


After an accident, you might be considering filing a personal injury suit to recover for the damages caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another in causing the car accident. Personal injury suits can result in damages for medical bills, property damage, and other expenses that might result following the accident. Included in these damages are also damages for the mental pain and anguish experienced. This includes PTSD. Those suffering from PTSD might have to adapt to a new way of life that affects their financial situation. You may be eligible to collect damages for PTSD following a car accident.


The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here to help you after an accident. Mental health is just as important and physical health. We want you to receive the damages you are entitled to for all injuries — both mental and physical. Contact us today for a consultation. Now taking cases throughout the Charlotte region with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and our new location in Monroe, call us at 704-370-2828 or click here for additional resources.







The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.





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