Tragically, after motor vehicle accidents, many people suffer from PTSD. This disorder can be scary, uncomfortable, and potentially debilitating. You may incur costly doctor's bills, you may not be able to work, your personal relationships may suffer, or you may face other damages related to your PTSD.
Luckily, if your accident was caused by someone else's negligence, you may be able to get some relief by bringing forward a personal injury claim. Here's what you need to know about car accidents and PTSD.
1. What Is PTSD?
Short for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD is a psychological disorder that can happen in response to trauma. Basically, your body and mind continue to revisit the trauma, and you feel like you're actively in danger even though the incident is no longer occurring.
Some of the symptoms include the following:
- Nightmares about the accident.
- Constant visuals of the accident while you are awake.
- Being fearful of similar situations — for example, you may not want to drive or be a passenger in a vehicle or you may need to avoid the location where the accident occurred.
- Heightened feelings of depression and anxiety.
- Always being hyperalert, as if you're bracing for more trauma to happen.
- Having trouble with sleeping or concentrating.
- Turning to drugs or alcohol to help you cope with these symptoms.
2. Can You Make a Claim for PTSD?
In the state of South Carolina, you can make a claim for PTSD with a personal injury lawsuit. Basically, personal injury lawyers help you to recover damages when you have been hurt by another party's negligence. They may negotiate with insurance companies, work with mediators, or even take your case to court to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
After a car accident, your damages may include medical bills, the cost of repairing your vehicle, lost wages if you were unable to work, and potentially indirect damage related to pain and suffering as well as other costs.
In relation to PTSD, damages may include direct costs you incurred, such as seeking counseling. However, damages can also include indirect costs related to the mental anguish you suffered as a result of this disorder and the impact it has on your life.
3. Why Does PTSD Occur After Motor Vehicle Accidents?
PTSD can occur after any traumatic situation, and motor vehicle accidents can certainly be very traumatic. In most cases, you're just driving along, possibly taking a route you've been on hundreds of times. But then, something unusual happens. A vehicle swerves out of its lane, stops suddenly, runs a red light, or makes another error.
As a result of the ensuing accident, a lot of people may develop PTSD. Research indicates that 27.5% of people who were in serious car accidents have at least three symptoms of PTSD six months after the accident. After 12 months, 24.3% of total accident victims were still experiencing at least three PTSD symptoms.
4. How Do You Establish That You Have PTSD?
If you have the symptoms of PTSD and they're getting in the way of your life, you probably are suffering from this disorder. You can also consult with a therapist to get a diagnosis. When you work with an attorney, they may be able to point you toward a medical expert who can help.
5. When Should You Contact an Attorney About Your PTSD?
Have you been in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence? Are you facing medical bills or missing work? Have you been experiencing PTSD symptoms due to the accident? Do you need help getting a fair settlement from the other driver's insurance company?
If you answered yes to these questions, you should contact an attorney to talk about your case. To learn more, contact us at Palmetto Injury Lawyers LLC.