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PTSD Symptoms Common After Car Accidents

Car accidents are unpredictable. The only warning that is likely to indicate that a crash or collision is imminent is the sound of horns blowing or the screeching of tires. Within seconds, you and passengers in your vehicle could be left with serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. In the aftermath, you may have vivid nightmares or even relive some of the feelings you experienced at the time whenever you are in a vehicle. These are symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and are something that many car accident victims suffer with. 

Common Symptoms of Trauma After a Car Accident

Car accidents in Portland injure thousands of people each year but are still something that happens infrequently to individual drivers. Nothing can prepare you for the sights, sounds, and feelings you are likely to experience. In addition to your physical injuries the sudden jolt to your system can cause symptoms of trauma for weeks and months after. 

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) warns that it is common to experience feelings of shock when any type of motor vehicle accident occurs. Symptoms you are likely to experience include:

  • Having trouble believing the accident actually happened;
  • Having problems remembering details about the crash;
  • Feeling nervous or apprehensive about driving or even riding in a car;
  • Replaying the accident and the situation surrounding it over and over again in your mind. 

These eventually pass but it can take a significant amount of time. The more severe the accident was, the longer it will likely take for you to recover both physically and emotionally. 

Compensation for Car Accident Trauma

Victims of violent car crashes where life threatening injuries may have resulted could experience post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) in the aftermath. The feelings that go along with PTSD are more than just troubling memories but actually cause you to relive the event. The Anxiety and Depression Association warns that you should immediately notify your doctor if you experience any of the following: 

  • Flashbacks to the crash that interrupt your sleep or activities during the day;
  • Feeling numb and too tired to engage in your usual activities;
  • Increasingly isolating yourself from family or friends;
  • Being increasingly agitated and angry, which can result in angry outbursts or other behaviors that is out of character. 

In addition to seeking reimbursement for property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages you suffer in a car accident, you may also be entitled to compensation for symptoms of trauma you experience. While typically not included in insurance company settlements, the Oregon Code does allow compensation for pain and suffering. These types of damages are available in a personal injury lawsuit and could make up a significant portion of your claim. 

Our Portland Car Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help

At the Johnston Law Firm, P.C., we are dedicated to getting you the maximum amount of compensation you need to recover in your claim. To discuss your specific case and how we can help, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland motor vehicle accident attorneys online to request a consultation today. 


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.