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Car Accident PTSD

Posted in on May 5, 2012

In the aftermath of a car accident, you may find yourself suffering from distressing mental injuries. For example, you may have anxiety. There can be certain sounds or events that trigger flashbacks. It may become impossible to go about your daily life.

What you may not realize is that you could be suffering from PTSD. As most experienced car accident lawyers can attest to, PTSD after a crash is genuine and can cause lasting impacts. Here’s what you need to know about PTSD after a car crash.

What Is PTSD After a Car Accident?

PTSD after a car accident is a type of car accident injury. It occurs when you have mental injuries after a traumatic event like a car accident. Anxiety, flashbacks, hypervigilance, paranoia, and thoughts of self-harm can all be signs of PTSD.

Car Accident PTSD

Like physical injuries, PTSD requires treatment and care. If you have PTSD because of a car accident, you may deserve financial compensation from the party responsible for the accident. Another name for PTSD is post-traumatic stress disorder.

Signs You Are Suffering From PTSD From a Car Accident

Here are some signs that you have PTSD from a car accident:

  • Frequently reliving the stressful events
  • Depression
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Trying to avoid emotions
  • Avoiding situations or activities
  • Anxiety about specific tasks or daily living
  • Panic attacks
  • Inability to sleep
  • Lack of focus

Any disruptions in your daily life can be signs of PTSD. It’s a psychological condition that develops from the stress of being in a car accident. The symptoms you experience depend on your own, personal reaction to such a traumatic event.

How to Get Over PTSD After a Car Accident

To get over PTSD after a car accident, you may need therapy, medication, or both. Some people recover from PTSD by talking through the anxiety created by the stressful event. Others need to confront the stressful event by immersing themselves in activities that trigger memories and flashbacks.

It’s important to understand that recovering from PTSD is a process that takes time. Just like each person responds to an accident differently, the recovery process is unique to you.

Can You Sue for PTSD After a Car Accident?

Yes, you can sue for PTSD after a car accident. When you have physical injuries in a car accident, you may also ask for additional compensation because of post-traumatic stress. PTSD can be a part of your claim for compensation in a car accident.

How to Claim PTSD Compensation After a Car Accident

To claim PTSD compensation after a car accident, you begin by listing PTSD as an injury in your complaint for compensation. You state in your first court documents that you have PTSD and that it’s a part of your claim. That puts the other party on notice that you have symptoms and you want compensation.

Once you make your claim for PTSD compensation, you need to place a value on it. The amount that you deserve in PTSD compensation depends on both the costs of your treatment and the severity of your symptoms. You need to look at the expenses that you’ve incurred for treatment. Both current and future expenses are part of the equation. You can present bills from treatment as well as expert testimony about your medical care needs and costs in the future.

You take the evidence that you gather, and you use it to advocate for a fair payment. That might mean negotiating with the other party for a settlement that represents your losses. You can use the evidence you gather as a negotiating tactic. But if the other side doesn’t offer you a fair settlement, you may use the evidence that you collect at trial. Be sure to follow the evidence rules that apply in your state for admitting documents and expert testimony at trial.

If you’re negotiating directly with the insurance company, you include your mental health treatment needs as part of your demand. Whether you speak with the insurance company or you send a demand letter, you must tell them that you have PTSD and that you want compensation for it. When you evaluate settlement offers from the insurance company, you should keep in mind that any potential settlement includes your claim for PTSD.

How Much Can You Get for a PTSD Car Accident Settlement

How much you can get for a PTSD car accident settlement depends on the severity of your suffering, how long it lasts, and how much it costs you to treat. Generally, the more severe your physical injuries are, the more you can recover for mental injuries like PTSD. However, the severity of your PTSD is an essential part of the financial value of your claim.

There are two components to a PTSD car accident claim. The first is the direct, financial cost associated with mental injuries. You need medical help to treat your injuries. Your claim should entirely cover the costs of that help.

The other component of a PTSD claim is the emotional agony and suffering that you endure. For severe PTSD, you may claim financial compensation up to several times the amount of your direct, economic losses from the accident. In very severe cases, the amount may be as high as five times the amount of your direct, financial damages from the crash. In other cases, you may claim 50 percent or more of the amount of your direct, economic losses as compensation for the mental distress associated with your PTSD.

Can You Get PTSD From a Minor Car Accident?

Yes, you can get PTSD from a minor car accident. Each person is different, and each person reacts to a stressful event differently. Even a minor car accident involves large, heavy vehicles and sudden trauma. As long as the event is stressful for you, you may have PTSD.

Contact a Skilled Denver Car Accident Attorney

Have you been in a car accident? Are you wondering if you can claim compensation for symptoms of PTSD? At Bachus & Schanker, LLC, you have extensive experience in handling car accident claims involving PTSD.

We can help you win all of the compensation that you deserve including for mental injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.

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Super Lawyers - Kyle Bachus
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
Super Lawyers - Darin Schanker
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyer
5280 Top Lawyers of Denver