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Effects of airplane crashes on survivors

Surviving the aftermath of a plane crash on a New York runway can be traumatizing for just about anyone who has made it through the ordeal. Whether a plane has crashed due to a design flaw, pilot error, or adverse weather conditions, survivors of an aviation incident have specific needs to be tended to, in addition to any required medical attention.

A piece in The Atlantic points out that the federal government’s National Transportation Safety Board Transportation Disaster Assistance Division, or TDA, assists crash survivors and families with four primary areas. These consist of the initial notification of the victim’s involvement in the disaster, accounting for the victims, providing access to resources and information, and finally, addressing the question of the victims’ personal belongings. Generally, air crash survivors have a lot of questions that need to be answered. According to the Atlantic piece, survivors may not immediately recall what had happened and may have questions about how they survived and how they were rescued. However, this is not the case for all survivors, as some do remember the circumstances of the crash in vivid detail.

Surviving a plane crash can have long lasting effects on a person’s psychological well being. In addition to tending to legal concerns over what caused the plane crash and possible remedies that can result, a survivor may be afflicted with mental and psychological traumas. According to an article in Newsweek, some survivors of a 2001 plane crash were diagnosed with PTSD both initially after the crash and about ten years after the incident. A series of tests were conducted on the survivors, and while the subjects thought back to the incident, the emotional centers of the survivors’ brains became more active. The Newsweek piece speculated that the crash may have permanently altered how the survivors perceive new life experiences, resulting in greater sensitivity to painful incidents. These post-traumatic effects can factor into any legal judgment if an airline or manufacturer is found liable for the crash.

Aviation incidents can leave permanent scars on people not just physically, but mentally as well. Some people may not remember a plane crash very well at all, owing to the trauma of the incident, while others may recall it in detail or remember it later on. Additionally, the possibility of PTSD can also manifest in people that survive a crash.

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