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Motor Vehicle Accidents Lead Causes Of PTSD

Motor Vehicle Accidents Lead Causes Of PTSD

In the United States, there are an estimated six million motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) every year. These accidents caused more than 2.5 million injuries in 2019. This amount of elevated trauma has made MVAs the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to the latest data from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, 315 fatal injuries and more than 32,000 non-fatal injuries resulted from the Commonwealth’s more than 140,000 total traffic collisions.

If you have suffered from an MVA, the Boston car accident attorneys at Colucci, Colucci & Marcus, P.C. can conduct a detailed investigation to secure the full compensation you deserve.

Processing PTSD

According to studies conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), almost 40% of MVA survivors develop PTSD. The development of PTSD is not necessarily influenced by the driver or passengers’ injuries or how severe the accident was. Instead, the development of PTSD appears to depend on a person’s perception and response to an accident.

There are several risk factors associated with a person potentially developing PTSD after an accident. These include:

  • Avoidance behaviors interfering with the healthy processing of emotions
  • Elevated levels of emotion like fear, guilt, helplessness, horror, or shame
  • Family history of psychopathology
  • Personal history of prior trauma or psychological issues
  • Lacking social support after an MVA
  • The perceived threat to their life of the lives of others

VMAs can cause a deluge of emotions. A person must process confusion, fear, shock, guilt, grief, and helplessness during and immediately after accidents. These feelings are all part of a person’s natural response to trauma. In time, they should dissipate. When a person develops PTSD, these emotions linger and may worsen over time.

According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), PTSD is common with those who experience or witness serious trauma like MVAs and begin to exhibit one or more of the following four symptoms:

  1. Avoidance behaviors
  2. Changes in emotional reactions
  3. Intrusive memories
  4. Negative changes in thinking and mood

Recovering from PTSD

Two of the most successful techniques in treating PTSD are cognitive processing therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. These therapies help cope with emotional and mental aspects of past trauma by giving patients the skills necessary to process it.

There are also several medications designed to manage and relieve the anxiety, depression, and mood changes associated with PTSD symptoms. An individual’s recovery begins by identifying their PTSD symptoms and finding the appropriate treatment for them.

When To Contact A Lawyer?

MVA’s can be incredibly traumatic. Victims are left trying to process the physical and mental wreckage left in the aftermath. A victim should be able to focus on healing and not have to worry about the logistics associated with securing compensation for their losses.

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an MVA caused by another driver’s negligence, contact the Boston car accident attorneys at Colucci Colucci & Marcus, P.C. for a free consultation or by calling 617-917-3917 to review your case.