Emotional injuries can be just as devastating as physical injuries in a car accident.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you might have a claim for physical and emotional damages, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
People typically associate PTSD with military-related trauma, but the psychological effects from a car accident can be devastating, especially if you witnessed a loved one die.
What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental condition that affects people who witnessed or experienced some type of traumatic event.
Violent events, terrorist attacks, and even a shooting or assault can trigger PTSD. Natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, can also result in PTSD.
Don’t mistakenly assume that PTSD from a car accident isn’t legitimate. A severe car accident can absolutely lead victims to develop PTSD. If not properly diagnosed, it will get worse over time.
In a medical study published in 2018, researchers determined that car accidents can increase a person’s risk of developing PTSD. In fact, just over 22% of car accident survivors developed PTSD.
Common PTSD After Car Accident Symptoms
People who experience PTSD after a car accident suffer more than just emotional distress that might go away on its own. Psychological trauma needs to be dealt with, or it can become even worse.
Symptoms can become incapacitating and spread into daily life, causing depression and additional anxiety.
Some of the symptoms that are characteristic of PTSD include:
- Being unable to concentrate or sleep;
- Reliving the trauma again and again through nightmares or flashbacks;
- Avoiding places, people, or activities that remind the victim of the traumatic event;
- Intense feelings of fear, anxiety, or anger, or having sudden outbursts; and
- Experiencing severe or prolonged psychological distress when the victim is exposed to triggers that remind them of the car accident.
PTSD can trigger other behavioral changes that can lead to suicidal thoughts, intense bouts of depression, and more.
It’s imperative to seek medical assistance right away if you are suffering from severe psychological trauma after a car accident.
Challenges of Pursuing a Claim for PTSD
While it’s possible to pursue a claim for PTSD in some cases, it’s not always the easiest claim to make. Because PTSD is a mental and emotional disorder, it’s challenging to demonstrate the true impact of PTSD on a victim’s life.
When you are dealing with physical injuries, it’s easier for people to visualize the effects. Therefore, determining the value of a PTSD claim can be more difficult.
However, don’t despair—getting PTSD car accident compensation is not impossible. You just need to develop a strong case and have an experienced legal advocate on your side.
As the plaintiff, you must be able to show you definitively have PTSD. This may require stronger evidence even than a doctor’s diagnosis, as the other side will challenge the diagnosis.
Additionally, you need to show that your PTSD was the direct result of the car accident or that the accident contributed in some way to you developing PTSD.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you believe you have a legitimate PTSD claim, don’t go through it alone. You need a skilled auto accident attorney who can help prepare the strongest case possible.
Obtaining a PTSD car accident settlement is possible, but you need a strong legal advocate on your side.
Your attorney may need to hire experts who can testify as to their expert opinion and whether you have PTSD or not. They can also testify on the impact PTSD has had on your life.
At the Fob James Law Firm, we have years of experience representing clients in severe car accident cases. We’ve successfully helped countless clients recover millions of dollars in compensation for their physical and emotional injuries.
To learn more about how we can help, contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.