3 Signs of PTSD After a Car Accident

Hoffmann Law Firm
3 min readAug 22, 2022

Being involved in a car accident can be incredibly traumatic, leaving victims with lasting emotional scars. In some cases, this trauma can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition that can profoundly and negatively impact every aspect of a person’s life.

Unfortunately, unlike physical injuries, PTSD is not always apparent immediately after an accident. Some symptoms may not appear until weeks or even months later. This can make diagnosis difficult, as many people may not realize they have PTSD until the symptoms begin to interfere with their daily lives. However, there are some signs that may indicate that someone is struggling with PTSD after a car accident. They include:

Flashbacks or Recurring Nightmares About the Accident

While it’s normal for accident memories to pop up in your mind from time to time, it can become problematic when these memories start to intrude on your everyday life. If you’re obsessively thinking or having nightmares about the accident, it could be a sign that you have PTSD, and it’s important to seek professional help.

The memories and nightmares may be so vivid and realistic that it feels like you’re reliving the accident all over again. You may also feel like you’re in danger even though you’re not. These flashbacks can be triggered by anything that reminds you of the accident, such as seeing a similar car or hearing someone talk about it.

Overwhelming Guilt

The human brain often has an obsession with “What ifs”. And while it’s good to reflect on situations and learn from them, for some people, this can become an all-consuming process. If you cannot stop thinking about what could have been done differently in your car accident, it could be a sign that you’re struggling with PTSD. This overwhelming sense of guilt can prevent you from moving on from the accident and enjoying your life.

Feeling on Edge or Hyper-vigilant

Were you a happy and carefree individual before your car accident, but now find that you’re feeling on edge all the time? You may find yourself being extra alert to your surroundings and jumpy at the slightest sound or movement. This is referred to as “hypervigilance,” and it can be a sign that your body is still in “fight or flight” mode, even though the danger has passed. It could be a sign that you have PTSD from the accident.

More signs:

  • You avoid anything that reminds you of the accident
  • You’ve lost interest in activities that you used to enjoy
  • You’re having trouble concentrating or remembering things
  • You feel numb and disconnected from others
  • You find it hard to trust yourself behind the wheel since the accident happened

St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Have you been recently in a car accident? Do any of these signs sound familiar to you? If so, you may be struggling with PTSD after a car accident and it’s important to seek professional help. A therapist can provide you with the tools and support you need to heal and move on from your trauma.

At the Hoffman Law Firm, we specialize in helping car accident victims file injury claims to get the compensation they deserve. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, we are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.



Hoffmann Law Firm

St.Louis Car Accident Attorney - Helping Recover after Auto Accidents in Missouri and Illinois. The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.