According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than a third of those involved in a roadside collision suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the United States, car accidents are one of the leading causes of PTSD. Due to the life-changing impact that PTSD can have, it can be useful for those that encounter these incidents to learn about their compensation entitlements. For victims of PTSD and car accidents, contact the compassionate and experienced attorneys at Jason English Law to learn if our legal team can help with a potential legal claim. Call us today at (512) 454-7548.
Understanding Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD occurs after an individual's involvement in a traumatizing event. This means that anyone who suffers or witnesses a life-altering event, such as a roadside collision, may become a victim of PTSD at some point. Commonly, victims of PTSD develop symptoms very shortly afterwards. This may include a lack of sleep or an inability to concentrate on daily tasks. Regardless of this, it is not always the case that these symptoms mean that the victim has PTSD. Although, if these symptoms persist for several weeks or months after the collision, the chances of having PTSD are higher.
Every single case of PTSD is different, which means that victims can suffer from various symptoms, which range from mild to severe. If suffering from any of these symptoms following a car accident, it is a good idea to seek professional medical assistance, as this can help the victim to identify if they have PTSD and to gain the necessary treatment:
- Memory issues
- Lack of sleep
- Feeling agitated or anxious when thinking about the incident
- Struggling to maintain relationships with loved ones
- Sense of hopelessness
- Actively avoiding entering a vehicle, in addition to pursuing regular interests
- Having nightmares or flashbacks concerning the car accident
- Avoiding discussing or thinking of the car accident
- Difficulties with concentrating on daily tasks
- Feelings of guilt, shame, and anger
- Generally finding it difficult to express emotions
- Thinking things are happening when they are not
- Behaving irrationally, including being easily scared or startled
How Long Can You Suffer From PTSD After a Car Accident?
PTSD after a car accident can last for varying amounts of time, depending on the individual and the specific incident. For instance, while one individual may only suffer from PTSD for a few days, another person may have PTSD for several years. Due to this, it is challenging to determine the exact period of suffering. Typically, though, the more serious the accident was, the more likely the victim is to suffer from PTSD for longer.
As per the American Psychiatric Association, serious cases of PTSD are usually those that last for at least a year, as these cases normally require treatment to clear up. As a result, it is advisable to seek treatment if symptoms persist, as an individual's PTSD condition might worsen over time.
What Factors Increase the Risk of Developing PTSD?
Several factors can increase the risk of developing PTSD. While anyone present in the vehicle following a crash can potentially encounter PTSD, other factors may increase this risk, including:
- Lack of friends and family for support purposes
- Family members that have suffered from psychopathology issues
- Significant degree of emotion after the car accident
- Finding it challenging to handle previous trauma
It is helpful to note that PTSD can impact everyone, regardless of their age. Due to this, if children are present in a car crash, it is advisable to encourage them to discuss their feelings to determine whether they are suffering from PTSD. If you, or your child, was a victim of a car accident and suffer from PTSD, consider speaking with Jason English Law to learn more about your legal rights.
How to Cope With PTSD
If not treated, PTSD may result in a lower quality of life. Due to this, seeking treatment is vital. There are several ways of coping with PTSD, which include:
- Finding out more about PTSD
- Discovering ways of managing anxiety levels
- Pursuing self-care methods
- Seeking medical assistance
Sometimes, by learning more about PTSD, it is possible to reduce the symptoms of this disorder. Accepting that you are not well can allow you to dedicate time for healing and clarifying your emotions. Along with visiting a physician to seek treatment for physical medical issues, it is equally important to do this when suffering from mental health ailments. Some of the most effective methods of treating PTSD include medication and therapy, which can be particularly helpful for treating anxiety and depression.
The exact method for coping with PTSD depends on the individual's situation. For instance, someone suffering from PTSD after a car accident may wish to learn how to cope with their anxiety, gain the confidence necessary to start driving again, or seek to reduce their overall stress levels. Due to these differing goals, seeking professional medical assistance can be highly beneficial.
Making a Claim for PTSD Following a Car Accident
It is possible to make a claim for PTSD following a car accident. To start this process, consider filing a claim with the responsible insurance company to get them to pay for any accrued medical bills or loss of earnings. If the insurance company refuses to do this, the victim can sue to recover these amounts. Insurance companies often use unscrupulous tactics, and it is wise to consider visiting with an experienced attorney before talking with your insurance company, or the other party's insurance company.
Moreover, a victim can sue the driver who caused the accident to compensate them for their pain and suffering, due to the injuries received from the accident, including PTSD. In this scenario, it is also possible to sue the at-fault driver for alternate economic damages. To do this, successful claimants demonstrate that the other party caused the collision and that the PTSD resulted from that incident.
Contact Jason English Law if You Suffer From PTSD After Your Car Accident
In many cases, a victim of PTSD related to a car accident might be able to make a claim for loss of earnings, medical bills, other economic damages, and emotional suffering. Consider learning all of your legal rights and options by contacting the experienced personal injury attorneys at Jason English Law at (512) 454-7548.