Depending on the severity of the collision, you could get PTSD from a car accident. PTSD—short for post-traumatic stress disorder—can occur following any traumatic event. When a motor vehicle accident results in the injury of you or someone you love, you could develop lasting emotional stress.
If you are dealing with the consequences of PTSD following a serious accident, resources are available to you. Even if a substantial amount of time has passed since the accident, you could still seek out assistance for both your medical and legal needs.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the signs and symptoms of PTSD are numerous and varied. The condition impacts each person differently and can manifest at unexpected times. For some people, the trauma of a serious motor vehicle accident can hit them right away. For others, the signs of PTSD might not become clear until years after the crash.
These symptoms can include:
Reliving the trauma of a serious accident is a hallmark of PTSD. These intrusive memories cause a person to relive the traumatic accident again and again.
It is not unusual for a person’s mood or opinion of themselves to change. A once-optimistic person could quickly become hopeless about the future, detached from loved ones, or emotionally numb.
Changes in Reactions
Many people suffering from PTSD face unexpected physical and emotional reactions. This could include constant fear, guilt for surviving the crash, difficulty sleeping, or feeling easily startled.
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Treating PTSD after a Car Accident
The process for treating PTSD can be long and challenging. Early intervention in the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident could reduce or eliminate the potential for PTSD following a crash. Speaking with a mental health professional shortly after a traumatic crash could reduce the chances of long-term consequences.
Of course, immediate intervention is not always an option for those involved in a collision. Unfortunately, many motor vehicle accident survivors overlook their mental health needs in the aftermath of a crash. This can lead to delays of months or even years before they ultimately seek the help they need.
You Can Work Through Your PTSD over Time
There are treatment options for PTSD in the months or years following a collision, though. For most people, extensive psychotherapy can teach a person important coping skills and methods for dealing with the trauma that comes with a severe car accident.
This could include:
- Cognitive therapy: Where you talk about the way you feel living with PTSD
- Exposure therapy: Where a professional helps you carefully re-enter the circumstance that led to your PTSD—in this case, it could involve slowly becoming more comfortable with driving or traveling in a vehicle again.
In some cases, medication might also play a role. You could treat PTSD through the use of anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants. However, every person responds to these treatments differently. Your doctor can advise you on what could work best for you.
Legal Options for Your Accident-Related PTSD Claim
If you are experiencing PTSD following a motor vehicle crash, you might be dealing with the stress and emotional strain that can follow a serious injury. Addressing this trauma is possible, but the financial cost is often high. Thankfully, you are entitled to pursue legal action against the responsible party for the expenses related to your PTSD claim.
This condition often requires months or even years of counseling and other forms of care to address the emotional damage caused by a traumatic event. You could pursue compensation for the cost of this treatment.
Some of the other forms of compensation that could be available with a PTSD claim include:
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning power
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
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You Could Retain a Lawyer to Advocate for You and Your Condition
Your attorney could advise you regarding the compensation you might be entitled to recover for your PTSD claim. These cases have their challenges compared to physical injuries that a jury could see with their own eyes. That said, your legal counsel could make the case that you have suffered real hardship due to your condition.
A legal fight could be too much for you to take on at this point in time. Let your legal team accomplish the hard work for you.
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Talk to an Attorney’s Team about Your PTSD Claim
If you are considering a legal claim based on your diagnosis of PTSD, you do not have to do so alone. There is no doubt that you can get PTSD from a car accident, and you could be entitled to compensation if that accident was another driver’s fault.
The team at Kaine Law understands the challenges that come with living with PTSD and are ready to help you ease that burden. To learn about your legal options, call (404) 214-2001 right away for your free consultation.