A Parker City driver who hit and severely injured a pedestrian was recently sentenced to time in county jail. The driver was driving under the influence of drugs when he struck a male pedestrian from behind, causing the pedestrian to hit his head on the windshield and fracture his skull.
Walking with the pedestrian was a female friend. He pushed her out of the way of the oncoming vehicle; even though she did not see the accident coming, she testified that it was one of the scariest things she had ever been through. She now often has flashbacks and nightmares.
She is not alone in experiencing mental health difficulties after surviving an accident. Although probably most commonly associated with stress from combat, studies have found that approximately nine percent of auto accident survivors suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that is triggered by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Often people involved in extremely stressful events have a brief period where they have difficulty adjusting. Generally with time, good support systems and healthy coping methods they begin to feel back to normal. In cases of PTSD, symptoms persist for months or years and may get worse causing severe disruption in a person's life.
Symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Flashbacks or nightmares about the traumatic event
- Difficulty concentrating
- Intense distress when exposed to reminders of the traumatic event
- Memory problems
- Trying to avoid thinking or discussing the traumatic event
- Being easily startled
- Overwhelming feelings of shame or guilt
If you think you may have symptoms of PTSD you should not delay in seeking appropriate treatment from mental health providers. Treatment can be very effective and teach you ways to cope with symptoms and feel a greater sense of control in your life.
Both the physical and mental symptoms personal injury victims experience require appropriate medical attention and treatment. If you are an accident victim a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can advocate on your behalf and help ensure you receive compensation for all the injuries you sustain.