Truck accidents can leave lasting scars both physically and emotionally. While there is generally a readily apparent course of treatment for bodily harm, mental trauma can be difficult to diagnose – making recovery significantly more challenging.
The severity of a motor vehicle accident is commonly tied to the types of injuries suffered. Truck accidents, for example, might result in traumatic brain damage, spinal cord damage, paralysis, amputation, multiple fractures or even fatalities. Unfortunately, the hidden psychological trauma can have a devastating impact on an individual’s life. In fact, it is not uncommon for a victim’s entire family to suffer emotional trauma after a severe motor vehicle collision.
Semi-truck accident victims can suffer a range of acute or chronic psychological consequences. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect an accident victim in numerous ways. There are countless stories and anecdotal evidence of individuals struggling to cope after an accident:
- A young woman who refuses to drive on the highway after being struck by an 18-wheeler.
- A man who will not drive when there’s even a chance of snow after a rollover accident in bad weather.
- A woman who refuses to drive in any situation after her mother was killed in a truck collision.
These emotional reactions can be as serious as a severe physical injury and just as hard to heal.
PTSD can have unpredictable effects on a victim’s perceptions of and reactions to reality. It is crucial that the psychological impact of an accident is studied and factored into the overall course of treatment after a serious accident. Doctors might rely on numerous neurological tests including the Peritraumatic Distress Inventory, the Peritraumatic Dissociative Experience Questionnaire or the Clinician-Administered PTSD scale to gain clear insight into the psychological trauma suffered.