How Can You Identify PTSD after a Car Accident?

Lever & Ecker, PLLC August 10, 2021 Car Accidents

Experiencing a car accident is a traumatic event. Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury and death worldwide. In addition to the physical injuries a person can experience in a car accident, 22% of car accident survivors subsequently experience post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

PTSD can have a debilitating effect on a person’s ability to lead an everyday life. If PTSD was caused by a car accident in New York by a negligent driver, that driver should be held liable to compensate the victim for their PTSD. Lever & Ecker, PLLC will help identify the specifics of your PTSD case to secure compensation to which you are entitled for your injuries.

What Types of Events Can Cause PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder can develop following a traumatic event. A traumatic event can occur when you or a loved one are in immediate danger, there is a threat to your life or the life of someone close to you, or you see other people die or suffer serious injury. While people may once have associated PTSD largely with events such as military combat or natural disasters, a car accident can unquestionably cause these types of circumstances to arise, resulting in PTSD. 

Symptoms of PTSD After a Car Accident

PTSD shows itself in victims by a constant re-experiencing of the event giving rise to the trauma. The experiences range from bad dreams to actual physical manifestations, including stress, depression, hallucination, difficulty sleeping, recurring obsessions or compulsions, changes in character and emotions, difficulty concentrating and other physical manifestations. PTSD can cause significant dysfunction in social, career, and family areas.

The symptoms of PTSD might start immediately after a car accident, or delay for weeks or months. Usually, symptoms will appear within six months of the traumatic event and can include:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Avoiding people and places reminiscent of the accident
  • Depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fear of driving
  • Fear of riding in a car
  • Flashbacks
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of interest
  • Isolating self from others
  • Mood swings
  • Performance issues in school or work

Just as in any psychological illness, the symptoms of PTSD can make it difficult for a person to take care of their everyday needs. They may require medication, therapy, counseling, and in- or out-patient care.

How Does PTSD Affect Your Injury Claim After a Car Accident?

When you file a lawsuit or other claim after a car accident, you will include as part of your claim all of your injuries, including not only physical injuries but also psychological or emotional injuries that arose from the accident. Some people may not be able to return to their jobs after an accident. Other people may struggle to participate in activities with friends and family, or even to get into a car. These symptoms can cause as much difficulty as a physical injury. As such, you should include them as part of your claim. 

Like physical injuries, PTSD can limit your ability to take care of your everyday life. If you must miss work due to PTSD symptoms, you may seek compensation for lost hours as part of your claim.  

Consult with an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney Today

A car accident which led to the development of PTSD often leads to a complex legal process. You attorney will strive to prove:

  • You have PTSD
  • Your car accident caused or directly contributed to your PTSD
  • The value of the damages you suffered from PTSD

PTSD resulting from an automobile accident can be debilitating and life-altering. It often comes with mental, emotional, and physical consequences, along with the stresses of medical bills and treatment. A New York personal injury attorney experienced in car accident law will have the knowledge and skills to navigate insurance companies and advocate on your behalf in court. They will find expert witnesses to corroborate your PTSD diagnosis and gather evidence to determine the value of your claim.

If you experience a severe car accident which has had a traumatic effect, file a PTSD claim in New York with the help of an experienced car accident attorney. Lever & Ecker, PLLC has more than sixty years of combined legal experience helping victims. Contact us today for a free consultation or call us at (914) 350-6328 or (718) 933-3632.