Are You Suffering from PTSD After a Car Accident?
Car accidents come with a wide range of short and long-term consequences. One of the most emotionally challenging is the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s fairly common for car accident victims to develop PTSD after a crash, even when physical injury is avoided.
Here’s what you should know about PTSD after a car accident and what to do if you think you may be suffering from this condition.
Understanding Car Accident PTSD
PTSD is a mental health condition that can arise after a dangerous or frightening event. When a situation triggers unexpected feelings of terror or shock, an individual can have difficulty returning to the same mental and emotional state they experienced before the event.
Car accidents are a common cause of PTSD. One study of motor vehicle accident victims found that 39.2% of people involved in a car accident later met the criteria for a PTSD clinical diagnosis. Of the accident victims, 53% also met the criteria for major depression.
Car accidents usually occur without warning, and the people involved often experience the sudden terror of death or serious injury. This momentary experience can negatively impact many areas of life for years to come, significantly impacting the victim’s health and well-being.
What Are Some Signs of PTSD After a Car Accident?
A mental health condition like PTSD looks different from person to person. However, PTSD has certain effects that impact most people struggling with it.
Some of the most common signs that indicate you may have PTSD after a car accident include:
- Flashbacks or nightmares of the accident
- Intrusive thoughts
- Negative changes in mood
- Avoidant behavior
- Altered reactions
- Functional difficulties
PTSD can impact all areas of life. It’s common for individuals with PTSD to experience difficulty completing tasks and meeting responsibilities that weren’t a challenge before the accident.
PTSD can affect anyone, even children. No one is immune to developing PTSD after a car accident, but certain factors can make one more likely to develop this mental health condition.
Risk factors for PTSD include:
- Previous trauma
- Lack of a support network
- Pre-existing mental health conditions
- Genetic factors
Typically, PTSD symptoms don’t resolve on their own. Seeking medical attention is crucial to begin healing from the powerful impact of PTSD.
Can I Sue the At-Fault Driver For PTSD in Florida?
Although PTSD doesn’t involve physical harm, it’s still considered a form of injury. If PTSD is caused by a car accident, the negligent driver can be held responsible for the damage in some circumstances.
An experienced car accident attorney in Jacksonville, FL can help you understand your options after you develop PTSD following a car accident.
You’ll need to provide evidence of the damages, like a diagnosis, testimony from a mental health professional, and bills or receipts for PTSD-related costs you’ve incurred.
It’s important to note that there’s a time limit for taking legal action after a car accident. In Florida, the statute of limitations for a car accident injury case is four years. If you believe you’ve developed PTSD after a car accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer and begin seeing a mental health professional as soon as possible.
What Compensation Can I Seek After a Car Accident Causes PTSD?
As a medical condition, PTSD is likely to cost you money. You can seek compensation for the bills incurred from mental health medications and office visits to mental health professionals. When PTSD is severe, it may result in an inability to work or drive. The other driver can be held responsible for lost wages and benefits in some cases.
Finally, you can seek non-economic damages for PTSD. You can receive compensation when a car accident causes pain and suffering or a diminished quality of life. Achieving this requires an experienced car accident lawyer to build a case for you.
PTSD is a complex, life-altering condition. Knowing the steps to take makes it possible to seek healing and compensation after a car accident results in PTSD.
Contact the Jacksonville Car Accident Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Jacksonville
121 W. Forsyth St. #170,
Jacksonville, FL 32202