How PTSD and Other Car Accident Injuries Change our Lives

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How PTSD and Other Car Accident Injuries Change our Lives

An annoying fact of life that we all eventually face is that it’s not always a bed of roses. Bad things happen. Traumatic events act as watershed moments in our lives, cleaving us into two different people: how we were before the event and how become after it. We hear about it all the time. Post-traumatic stress disorder was all the rage in the mental health community during and after the great wars, though at the time we didn’t even have a name for what was wrong with us. Since the discovery of PTSD, we understand mental health, and ourselves, better and we’re able to put into terms what it is exactly that ails us.


Traumatic events, like major car accidents, change our outlook on life, how we perceive situations and people, and how we react and behave. Modern mental health recommends a steady dose of self-reflection, self-healing, and therapy. What people don’t tell you, however, is how events, whether great or small, can alter everything in your life, from those little mundane rituals to life-long goals.


In the event of a major car crash, not only will you have to recover from the physical injuries, but also from the debilitating fear of stepping into another car. Post-traumatic stress disorder in car crash victims is well documented. If you’ve sustained car accident injuries, the road to a full recovery, both mentally and physically, will be long and winding.


Life, Interrupted


The effects of a car accident don’t always wear off when our bones have mended, when our wounds have healed. It’s almost as if we don’t expect the aftermath. Whether you’re a passenger or a pedestrian, life will suddenly stop and change gears. After all, everything will be different. You likely won’t be able to return to work or school for some time. You could be bedridden for months. If you suffered from long-term head injury or the loss of a limb, you might even wake up to find your world completely turned upside by your injuries. Depending on the severity of the crash, you may take weeks, months, or even years to recover from your car accident injuries. During that time, you may be hospitalized or be forced to convalesce at home.


If you’re the victim of a crash and the other driver was insured, their insurance will cover your medical expenses but only up to a certain amount and only for a limited length of time. For instance, if you suffered a non-catastrophic injury (the definition of a catastrophic impairment can be found here), and require rehabilitation and attendant care, the at-fault driver’s insurance will cover your expenses up to a minimum of $65,000.


For those of us who have experienced extreme trauma, we know that there is no currency in the world that can pay to remove our anxieties and fears. Medical expenses may be covered, but emotional scars and psychological damage come at a higher cost.


Psychological Effects of Car Accident Injuries


It is rare to go through life without ever being involved in a fender bender. To be on either the receiving or the giving end of a small bump like that is almost a rite of passage into the cynical side of adulthood. Bumps and scrapes are especially common if you live in large congested cities like Toronto, whose rush hour traffic is so notoriously bad, Mayor John Tory made tackling it one of his first priorities when taking office. Even car accidents themselves are so commonplace, so intrinsic to our day, that unless we’re sitting in the car when a major crash happens or we’re stuck in gridlock because of one, we barely even register the news report.


But car accidents that involve severe injury or loss of life and limb can cause detrimental psychological effects that can last months or even years. Being a car crash survivor means you’ve earned the right, even the privilege, of being a tad jumpy in cars. No one will hold your white-knuckling the door handle against you. These symptoms are common and natural. But they should not be ignored if they persist or worsen. If you don’t have the right supports in place, you might start showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. These symptoms include:


  • ●Reliving the event (through distressing dreams and memories)
  • ●Avoiding triggers or reminders (i.e. refusing to get into a car, forgetting details, avoiding the scene of the crash)
  • ●Hyperarousal (difficulty sleeping, concentrating, relaxing; irritable, easily excitable)


When it Happens to You


If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, chances are you’re suffering. But you don’t have to suffer alone. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer about the accident and about the possible compensation that may be owed to you could help ease the burden. Book a free consultation with Sokoloff Lawyers and take comfort in the fact that your story is being heard by those who want to help.




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Remember to contact Sokoloff Lawyers today to learn more about the options available to you.