Losing a loved one in a car accident increases your risk of PTSD

When you were hit by the driver who was texting, the worst part was not the damage to yourself but the loss of your loved one in the passenger seat. Our legal team at Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson & Covelli in New Jersey understands that this trauma can cause mental and emotional harm that magnify the pain and suffering of the collision.

According to Psychiatry Advisor, post-traumatic stress disorder is common for a person whose loved one dies suddenly and unexpectedly. In fact, researchers have identified risk factors that can predict when someone in this type of situation is particularly in danger of developing PTSD. These include the following:

  • Your age
  • Your level of education
  • Your marital status
  • Your gender
  • A history of trauma exposure

One of the most relevant factors in predicting whether you will develop PTSD after an auto accident is your relationship with the person who was killed. For example, if your spouse died, you have a 9.6 times greater chance of PTSD than someone who loses another loved one, and if you lost a son or daughter, your odds are 8.7 times greater. If you have any doubts in your mind as to whether you could have somehow prevented the collision, your chances of developing PTSD triples.

Scientists believe that if the risk factors can be identified shortly after the event that killed the loved one, interventions may be able to help lower the odds and improve a person's emotional and psychological health while they recover from the crash. More information about catastrophic accidents is available on our webpage.

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