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Identifying Child PTSD Symptoms Following an Automobile Accident

By Butler Prather LLP on March 4, 2021

Vehicle accidents can be traumatic for any party involved, including children. What many people may not realize is that not all vehicle accident injuries are physical in nature. Many injuries involve emotional and psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Children are just as susceptible to PTSD after a car accident as adults. If your child has been involved in a car accident, you need to be diligent about treating all of their injuries, including their physical ones as well as their emotional and psychological ones. PTSD symptoms can vary from one person to another, and we want to discuss how these may manifest in children after an accident occurs.

What is PTSD?

Many people associate PTSD with military service members, but the reality is that PTSD is a psychological condition that can affect any person who has been through a particularly harrowing incident. This includes vehicle accidents. Victims of PTSD can suffer from a range of symptoms that can affect their daily lives. Children and adults can experience PTSD, but the symptoms may vary for children.

How to Know if Your Child has PTSD

Researchers have discovered that there are three major symptoms that children who have PTSD may experience. We do want to point out that some children experience all three of these symptoms, while other children may only experience one. PTSD is not the same for every person.

  • Flashbacks or intrusive memories. A child with PTSD may continue to relive the traumatic car accident long after it occurs. These flashbacks can happen at any time, including nighttime and manifest themselves as nightmares. However, these flashbacks can also occur during the day, particularly if something happens to trigger the memory. For example, a sudden slamming of the brakes in a vehicle could cause memories of the incident a flood back.
  • Avoiding certain situations. Children with PTSD may avoid doing anything that reminds them of the traumatic incident. This could include trying to avoid vehicles. In some cases, a child may try to block out the incident entirely by convincing themselves that it never happened. This can result in anxiety and phobias developing, including panic attacks.
  • Hyper-responsiveness. This means that a child may become overly irritable, restless, active, or sleepless. A child with PTSD may also have a hard time concentrating or have sudden outbursts of anger.

Will car Insurance Cover Treatment for Your Child’s PTSD?

Auto insurance and Georgia will typically cover your child’s treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Under the law in this state, all costs of the accident will be paid by the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver. This includes the physical injuries that occur as well as all of the consequences, including the unseen pain and suffering losses experienced such as PTSD. However, there are steps that parents should take right away to help ensure that their child’s complete treatment will be covered. This includes:

  • Seeking immediate medical treatment after the accident occurs. It is crucial for any injury victim to seek medical care as soon as possible. This not only ensures the well-being of the child, but also establishes a direct link between all of their injuries and the vehicle accident. Seeing a doctor immediately can help pinpoint the exact time that PTSD symptoms originated.
  • Working with a vehicle accident lawyer immediately. A skilled vehicle accident lawyer should be involved as soon as possible to help ensure that they lay the groundwork for any future PTSD claims. Car accident claims in Atlanta can be complicated, particularly when going up against aggressive insurance carriers. By working with an attorney, parents can help ensure that their child receives the best treatment possible

Posted in: Car Accidents

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