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Can I Develop PTSD After a Motor Vehicle Accident?

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 6-Dec-2017

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a crippling mental health condition that affects an estimated 7 to 8 percent of the US population. You can develop PTSD by surviving an event that is sufficiently traumatizing. Certain medical mistakes, sexual abuse, acts of violence or natural disasters can lead to the development of PTSD. Motor vehicle accidents are another why people may develop this health condition.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that 9 percent of car accident survivors develop PTSD. According to the VA, there are certain factors than may increase the risk of developing PTSD after an accident. Suffering a catastrophic physical injury during the crash can increase the risk. These are injuries that make it difficult or impossible to resume normal life activities. Poor social support after a crash or preexisting mental health conditions may also increase the risk of developing PTSD.

How Can PTSD Symptoms Affect Car Accident Survivors?

The symptoms of PTSD are brutal and can affect a person’s social, physical and financial life. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), PTSD symptoms may include

  • Depression.
  • Flashbacks
  • Social isolation
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Strong feelings of guilt

These symptoms may also increase the risk of suicide and substance abuse. Marriages, friendships and professional relationships may also suffer because of these symptoms.

People with PTSD may have trouble functioning at their jobs. They may miss more days at work or suffer from performance issues. This is through no fault of their own. PTSD symptoms make it extremely difficult to find or maintain a job. In some cases, a person with PTSD may be unable to provide a living for themselves or their family members.

Is PTSD Considered During a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Psychological trauma is a possible factor that is considered when calculating damages during a lawsuit. However, it can sometimes be difficult to prove that a person’s PTSD was directly caused by a motor vehicle accident. Therefore, an attorney may call upon a qualified medical expert to provide testimony. In some cases, the witness may be responsible for providing care to the plaintiff.

When considering psychological damages for a lawsuit, it helps to hire a law firm that frequently works with or employs medical professionals. The Washington DC auto accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC work with medical professionals to help our clients secure the compensation they need to recover.

Categories: Auto Accidents
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