Often when we talk about recovery after a motor vehicle accident, we default to topics involving physical injury. For many people, however, the mental and emotional injuries last much longer and can be more difficult to recover from. This can be especially true if a car accident triggered episodes of post-traumatic stress disorder.

It is a condition that can develop after someone lives through an ordeal that is traumatic, sudden or dangerous. Any situation that triggers a strong fight or flight response in your body can also trigger PTSD, which can then cause difficultly with managing normal aspects of life. Some individuals with PTSD find it difficult to return to normal relationships or work.

A PTSD diagnosis requires some symptoms to occur for at least a month following a traumatic event. Those symptoms include flashbacks or memories related to the event, including those that occur in dreams. Other symptoms include a high-strung startle reflex, sleep issues, anger, feelings of emotional numbness, panic attacks, depression and avoidance of the place where the event occurred or other physical reminders of the event. In severe PTSD cases involving car accidents, for example, the person might not want to ride in a motor vehicle.

This condition can also come with physical symptoms, including back pain, muscle aches, stomach pain and headaches. If you are suffering from PTSD after a motor vehicle accident, then those issues could be important in any claim you make for compensation. A lawyer can help you understand your options and work with you to seek recovery for emotional losses associated with a car accident.

Source: WebMD, “What Triggers PTSD?,” accessed June 24, 2016