I Started Suffering from PTSD After A Car Accident. Can I Sue?
When considering car accidents, most people assume that physical injuries are the hardest to deal with. Although it’s natural to think about injuries or property damage and sue the at-fault party for compensation for these damages, we often forget about the emotional implications of an accident.
If you started suffering from PTSD or other forms of emotional distress after your car accident, consider seeking legal representation in Ventura, CA. Personal injury lawyers are often the best choice when you become the victim of a car crash and want to gain compensation for your damages.
A personal injury attorney will analyze your case, guide you through the economic and non-economic damages you are entitled to, and fight for your case to get some relief after such an unfortunate incident. Here is everything you need to know about suing for PTSD after a car accident and more!
PTSD Following Car Accidents are, Unfortunately, Common
Car accident survivors are at an increased risk of developing a wide range of psychiatric disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Until the early 2000s, mental health issues weren’t as highlighted in personal injury lawsuits as they are today.
Fortunately, this has changed, and according to fifteen studies that analyzed 6,804 car accident survivors, about 1,489 victims were identified with PTSD. According to these studies, we can conclude that PTSD among road traffic accident survivors is at least prevalent in 21.90% out of 6,804 survivors.
Serious injuries are often correlated with psychiatric disorders such as PTSD, and therefore, if you have sustained such injuries during your traffic accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
However, not all people are the same. You might sue for non–economic damages such as PTSD even if you didn’t experience serious injuries. All you have to do is to prove that the PTSD symptoms or other psychiatric disorders are the direct results of your unfortunate car accident event. The best way to tell if you can sue for PTSD is, nevertheless, by speaking with a qualified personal injury lawyer.
Why You Should Sue for PTSD
Between 20 and 50 million people worldwide experience injuries in car crash accidents each year. According to the American Psychological Association, the leading cause of PTSD in the general population of the United States (non-military) is car accidents.
Therefore, you shouldn’t hesitate to sue for PTSD due to your car accident incident, especially considering its duration and side effects. PTSD symptoms can manifest shortly after the accident or several months or years later.
These symptoms can last for four weeks, in the best scenario, and in the worst scenario, can last several years. PTSD symptoms differ from one person to another, significantly affecting or changing their lives.
Diagnosis is difficult to ascertain without proper psychological assessment, but some of the most common signs of PTSD include:
- Having recurring thoughts or even flashbacks of the accident
- Difficulty in experiencing emotional connections or emotional changes
- The victims actively avoid driving, certain people, places, or other activities that remind them of the accident
- General paranoia, hyper-vigilance, or being constantly on alert
Victims that don’t undergo treatment for their PTSD may end up living with them for the rest of their lives. When you live with such a psychological disorder, it will inevitably affect your everyday life.
PTSD Side-effects and Treatment
PTSD side-effects arise when the condition is left untreated for a long time. When you don’t try to understand and heal your mental trauma, it will inevitably lead to other issues such as suicidal thoughts, more traumatizing flashbacks, depression, anger management issues, and other mental problems.
Most untreated PTSD patients will have difficulty using personal transportation, and their psychological issues may even negatively affect their interpersonal relationships, leading to fights, breakups, and other problems.
Treating PTSD is complicated because numerous variable factors influence its severity and duration. For example, some people simply heal faster than others. In other situations, the severity of the car accident plays a significant role in how worse the PTSD symptoms manifest themselves.
Most people manage to treat their PTSD symptoms within a couple of weeks or months after the trauma. In other cases, it might take even a couple of years. What is most important is never to let these issues go untreated because they can worsen over time.
Because PTSD is difficult to treat depending on many factors, car accident victims must pay for several therapeutic sessions before they put their life back on track. These sessions aren’t free, not to mention that PTSD symptoms will make the recovery of any car accident survivor even harder.
Due to these factors, car accident victims that have developed PTSD symptoms following their traffic accident should sue for non-economic damages and receive compensation for their troubles.
Economic and Non-economic Damages
When a car accident victim wishes to press charges and sue for personal injuries, they might be compensated for economic and non-economic damages. In this case, victims need to prove that the negligent party is responsible for their accident and the injuries sustained, including psychiatric disorders.
Non-economic damages are subjective issues you can include in your injury claim, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, PTSD, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional anguish, and other losses not expressed in financial terms.
Economic damages are the opposite. They are objective damages. These verifiable monetary losses refer to lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, or other tangible losses that the victim inquired about or will inquire about due to their accident. All future anticipated losses are considered economic damages. As a car accident victim, your best chance of receiving compensation while suing for PTSD and other non-economic and economic damages following your car accident event is to contact a personal injury attorney.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Sue for PTSD Following a Car Accident
Personal injury lawyers are trained legal professionals that will help you recover the necessary damages for your troubles following an accident. Your lawyer will be like a friend to whom you will speak about your problems, both physical and mental.
This strong communication between you and your lawyer will ensure they understand the big picture regarding your accident and what you went through. These professionals know exactly what damages you are entitled to and will fight in your name so that you will be compensated appropriately.
Insurance firms or the at-fault party might offer you less than what you are entitled to. Apart from this, you won’t know the true extent or the worth of your injuries and mental problems following the accident until you recover from them.
A personal injury lawyer will document your case with the necessary evidence and fight for what you are entitled to. Contact a personal injury lawyer today that offers free case evaluations and see if they are a good fit for your case. Also, remember that the statute of limitations in California is two years from the date of the accident.
Your case might be dismissed if you file a personal injury claim after this timeframe. If you developed PTSD symptoms after the statute of limitations expired, consult a lawyer to find out what you can legally do.