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Does car accident trauma always lead to PTSD?

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2021 | Car Accidents |

Post-traumatic stress disorder can have devastating effects on victims and their families. PTSD typically follows incidents in which people experience extreme trauma. However, people are unique in the way they deal with trauma. For example, suppose two individuals are involved in a traumatic incident like a car accident in Ontario. In that case, one person could develop PTSD while the other person could deal with the trauma and move on. 

Types of exposure to trauma

Trauma leading to PTSD could involve exposure to extreme violence. It could involve experiencing death threats like murder, rape, house fire or natural disasters like earthquakes. For some people, witnessing such events could be enough to bring on PTSD. 

The other scenario involves a direct experience of traumatic events. It could include being involved in a car accident and witnessing a loved one die. The trauma could be exacerbated if the person seeing a loved one’s death was the vehicle’s driver.  

Frequent dealings with severe injuries or death, such as first responders and police officers, have been known to develop PTSD. They see traumatic events every day. Some find themselves running out of capacity to deal with even one more traumatic incident. 

Factors that increase the risk of suffering PTSD

Not all traumatic experiences lead to PTSD. Studies have shown that almost every person experiences or witnesses at least one traumatic incident in his or her life. The following factors exacerbate the risks: 

  • Severe trauma lasting a long time 
  • Close physical proximity to a traumatic event 
  • Feeling guilt for not preventing an avoidable incident that caused severe injuries or death to a loved one. 

People who witnessed or experienced extreme trauma and developed post-traumatic stress disorder might face mounting bills from doctors, the hospital, therapists and more. If the cause was a car accident that resulted from the negligence of others, they might have grounds to pursue financial relief. Recovering damages will involve a personal injury lawsuit filed in a civil court. 

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