A severe car accident can cause many different types of injuries. Whiplash, lacerations, and broken bones will heal over time, but some are faced with a backlash of emotional scars after a horrifying car accident. Any type of traumatic and life-threatening event can leave victims with injuries that aren’t obvious to the naked eye. The victims of post-accident PTSD are left trying to put their lives back together after an incident they didn’t cause.
If you’re uncertain how PTSD plays a part in a personal injury lawsuit, reach out to a car accident lawyer near you. During a free consultation, an experienced and compassionate attorney can help to guide you towards the best possible settlement.
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Post-traumatic stress disorder, typically referred to as PTSD, is a condition that affects people who’ve faced a traumatic or life-threatening event. When thinking about PTSD, most believe that it only affects combat soldiers, but anyone who has a terrifying event can suffer from this mental health condition. Many victims of car accidents are later diagnosed with PTSD. Its symptoms can include:
- Intrusive memories – PTSD victims can have flashbacks of the traumatic event during waking hours or in nightmares. Some cannot stop thinking about the event and will talk incessantly.
- Active avoidance – Avoiding anything that reminds them of the event is common with PTSD victims. This can include fear of driving or being in a car. Some after a harrowing car accident will have difficulties leaving their home.
- Changes in mental health – PTSD sufferers can experience sudden changes in mood. Depression, feelings of dread, and anxiety attacks are unfortunately common.
Accident victims with PTSD may feel detached and isolated, making it difficult to return to their normal life and work. This can not only cause issues with friends and close family members, but it can interfere with their ability to earn a living and support themselves financially. While their broken bones or other injuries have healed, without proper mental health treatment and continuous care, PTSD can easily destroy an accident victim’s life.
Victims of a car accident that they played no part in causing have the right to seek compensation for the damages the crash has caused. When most people think of compensation after an accident, what mostly comes to mind are doctor’s bills, lost wages, and other easily quantifiable financial losses. While it’s true that these bills are a part of what an accident victim will attempt to recover, there are others they can claim. The damages caused by PTSD can be included.
Before you can seek compensation for PTSD after a car accident, you’ll first have the burden of proving that the other driver was negligent and caused the crash. With the help of a personal injury lawyer, they’ll assist you with gathering all of the evidence to prove that you weren’t at fault, that the accident caused you injuries, and that these injuries caused damages. PTSD can be included as damages.
Although PTSD is a real factor that affects many car accident victims, insurance companies are notorious for denying compensation for non-economic damages. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be compensated for it, but seeking compensation for PTSD has its own set of challenges. Your personal injury lawyer can help to gather evidence that can prove PTSD has affected your life. Types of evidence to prove this claim can include:
- A mental healthcare professional’s expert testimony
- Evidence of mental health treatment for PTSD
- Psychiatrists evaluations
- Sworn testimony from family, friends, and coworkers about the changes in your mental health
- Accident eyewitness statements
No one should have to face the possibilities of financial hardships after a car accident that they played no part in creating. Fortunately, these victims have the right to seek compensation for all of their damages. While an insurance company settlement may cover your basic needs like hospital and medical bill payments, most will challenge any type of non-economic damages. PTSD is often denied even though it is a legitimate condition caused by the accident.
To ensure that you receive the best possible settlement and compensation after the accident, it’s crucial to have a legal team on your side who will fight for all that you deserve. Never attempt to negotiate with an insurance company without seeking the guidance of a personal injury lawyer.