Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) isn’t just something that impacts police officers or veterans. It can be caused by any traumatic event. For your average American citizen, one of the most common traumatic events is simply a car crash.

If you’re involved in a crash, especially if you suffer serious injuries or if someone passes away in that crash, you could wind up with PTSD. This can also happen without any injuries at all. From the outside, you look like you’re fine, but you know that something is wrong.

PTSD impacts people differently. You may find yourself practicing avoidance behaviors. You could avoid the place where the crash happened, for instance, or you could avoid driving entirely. This is a huge issue for people who can no longer commute to work or those who worked as professional drivers. That one accident can change your entire career.

Other symptoms may include intrusive thoughts, panic attacks, nightmares and these types of mental trauma events. You could find yourself obsessing over the accident and never feeling like you can let it go. You may even start to feel unsafe or you may worry excessively about the fragility of life. In a lot of ways, these are the same symptoms that soldiers can face after combat experiences, but they can be spurred by car accidents, as well.

If this happens to you, the first step is to make sure you get proper medical care for what is a very complex condition. After that, take the time to look into your rights to compensation for that care and other related costs.