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Understanding Trauma After a Catastrophic Injury

One of the leading causes of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the general population involves serious accidents and injuries. A head injury, swimming pool accident, car accident, and other incidents affect not only the body, but also the mind’s ability to recover.


PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that will affect approximately one in 11 Americans during their lifetimes. It can take time to diagnose correctly, but getting treatment can help survivors of a serious injury reclaim their lives.

Trauma Can Affect You More Than You Think

PTSD leads to strong and sometimes upsetting feelings and thoughts that persist long after a triggering event is past. A survivor of a car accident, for example, may experience nightmares, mood disturbances, and flashbacks months or years after the car crash—and possibly after all physical symptoms have healed.

PTSD is important to diagnose and treat because it can be debilitating. Patients with PTSD may avoid some situations, may experience problems with relationships or work, or may have strong reactions to ordinary events (such as regular noises). Some patients self-medicate and develop substance abuse disorders. Some develop sleep disturbances which in turn affect their physical health and their ability to perform everyday tasks or work tasks safely. It’s not an exaggeration to say trauma can affect every area of your life.

Trauma Comes With a Price

Fortunately, treatments for PTSD are available. Therapy and medication can both be used to manage symptoms and to help patients.

The challenge is that the costs can be significant. Cognitive behavioral therapy and medications such as SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) and SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors) are often recommended. Some patients also take anxiety medication or use complementary therapies to manage their symptoms.

The costs for these treatments can add up, and the expense is compounded by the fact that someone with severe PTSD may not be able to maintain a job because of their illness. Health insurance can cover some therapies, but even co-pays can be significant. In addition, insurers may hesitate at funding alternative therapies, even though they have been found to be effective at treating PTSD.

When To Call For Help

We’re learning more about PTSD and trauma all the time, but unfortunately insurers still sometimes refuse to acknowledge trauma caused by a truck accident or other serious incident. This can present serious barriers for patients seeking care.

If you’ve been seriously injured, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury. Your attorney is on your side. He or she acts in your best interests, valuating your injuries correctly and seeking fair compensation so you can pay for the care you need.

After your injury, you will also want to stay alert for any signs of sleep disturbances or intrusive thoughts or mood swings. While these are normal initially, if they persist you may want to see a doctor. You will also want to keep your personal injury attorney updated about your condition and any new diagnosis. If you do develop PTSD, your attorney may be able to seek compensation to ensure you can get quality treatment.

If you’ve been seriously injured and don’t know where to turn, call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626. Our phones are staffed 24/7, so you can always speak to speak to a live person, even on holidays. Or contact us online. We can schedule a free, no obligation case consultation so we can discuss your potential case, how much it may be worth, and questions you may have.

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