Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a stress response to trauma that can cause debilitating symptoms long after the danger has passed. You may not know that car crashes are the most common cause of PTSD.
Crash-related PTSD happens to about 39.2% of motor vehicle accident survivors according to National Institute of Mental Health. It’s important to know that this can happen to you after a crash. You could receive compensation for your PTSD treatment and pain and suffering.
What Are the Symptoms of Crash-Related PTSD?
There are several hallmark symptoms of PTSD. You do not need a formal diagnosis of PTSD to receive damages for mental trauma, but the more symptoms you have, the easier it will be to prove that you deserve more compensation.
Some of the symptoms of PTSD, according to the DSM-5, include:
- Intrusive memories about the event
- Emotional and physical reaction to triggers related to the event
- Avoidance behavior related to these reactions
- Negative alterations in thought and mood
- Changes in psychological arousal and reactivity (e.g. trouble sleeping, worse temper, stronger startle reactions)
For a diagnosis, the symptoms have to last longer than one month and cause distress or functional impairment. Again, even one of these symptoms can be enough to get mental trauma damages. However, a formal diagnosis will make your case far stronger.
Strong PTSD symptoms put you at risk for other mental illnesses. It can also give you a fear of cars or driving that can cripple your life. These avoidance behaviors need treatment, but you’ll need time and money to do that.
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People Most At-Risk for Crash-Related PTSD
There are certain things that can make it more likely to develop crash-related PTSD. You should tell your doctor, psychologist, and lawyer if you have:
- Dissociation symptoms during or after the accident
- A history of prior trauma, no matter the source
- Feeling like your life is threatened
- Prior mental illness
- A family history of mental illness
- Lack of social support
- Powerful emotions during or immediately after the accident
PTSD is treatable with therapy and medication, but it takes time and mental health care is expensive. A lawsuit can help you recover these costs if someone else’s negligence caused the accident and your injuries. If the evidence shows that your PTSD was a serious injury resulting from the accident, the law may entitle you to recover fair and reasonable compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, damage to your family relationships, and many other types of damages
Make a Mental Note of All Damages
If you suspect you could have PTSD symptoms, and you have a claim in process, you should make a mental note of all of the ways your PTSD has affected your life. This is a record of the changes of your physical and mental symptoms over time in your own words.
This evidence will provide valuable evidence to your lawyer and could be the key to getting damages like pain and suffering or mental trauma. These are damages above and beyond the economic costs of your crash and could add a lot of money to your final compensation amount.
Don’t ignore PTSD symptoms. Untreated PTSD can lead to further mental illness and cause trouble in your relationships and your profession. Please see a therapist and consider seeking group therapy.
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How Much Could I Get for Crash-Related PTSD?
Every case is unique and there is no set figure which you will be entitled to recover. Your compensation will depend on several factors, like with any other damage claim. The economic costs, like your therapy and medication bills, are easy to calculate. But the scars caused by PTSD aren’t so easy to calculate.
If you believe that another’s negligence has led to your PTSD injuries, speak to an experienced personal injury law firm about your rights. At Dansker & Aspromonte Associates, we have been fighting for the rights of injury victims just like you since 1988.
Call us for a free consultation to discuss the unique facts of your case. If we agree to accept your case, you will not be asked to pay us any money upfront. We only earn a legal fee when you recover compensation. Your time is limited. If you fail to file your claim by the applicable deadline, you could be prevented from recovering the compensation you deserve.