Can I sue someone for giving me PTSD?
When we hear about a car accident, the first thing that comes to mind is physical injuries. But, did you know that after an accident, many people also suffer from mental injuries too? Being in an accident can be a traumatic event when physical injuries happen, which can be worsened when the trauma of the event itself causes mental trauma. Even witnessing a car accident or animal attack (dog bite) can be horrifying. If you've been in an accident and can't get it out of your mind, or you witnessed an accident that keeps playing inside your head, you may ask yourself:
Is it normal to have PTSD after an accident?
Read on to learn more.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by either experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that follows a traumatic event involving actual or threatened:
- serious injury, or
- threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of PTSD following a serious motor vehicle accident:
Repeatedly re-experiencing the accident in your head
- Intrusive thoughts about the accident
- Distressing dreams about the accident
Avoiding thoughts or situations having to do with the accident
- Reluctance to drive
- Refusal to drive
- Actively avoiding thoughts about the accident
- Reduction or absence of emotions
- Feeling detached from others
Increased physical arousal
- Easily startled
- Feeling irritable
- Problems with sleep
What makes PTSD different from a physical injury?
Most car accident injuries are visible. If your arm gets broken in a crash, everyone can see it. It's plain as day. They may have sympathy for you. They may have also broken a bone at some point in their life so they can relate to what it is to have a broken bone. You see, there is no doubt that you got hurt - the proof is front and center for everyone to see.
Why is PTSD a “silent injury”?
When it comes to post-traumatic stress disorder, many people suffer in silence. Unless they talk about it, others won't know why they are acting differently than before the accident or event which caused the PTSD. With thoughts of the accident dominating their mind, the last thing a person suffering from PTSD might want to talk about with family and friends is the accident. They may fear that they will be judged or be told that they should just get over it - it could have been "much worse". The suffering caused by PTSD goes beyond the above symptoms. What happens is the flashbacks and lack of peace of mind that they cause may cause even more anxiety, which may bring on depression, and it all feeds on itself, leading to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
PTSD can really get in the way of working like normal because of the constant anxiety. And trying to find a job while suffering from PTSD can be almost impossible. PTSD can prevent a person from enjoying their life because thoughts of the trauma dominate their existence. This may cause even more problems in their personal relationships because they are unable to live life normally as they did before the crash.
How do you get over PTSD after an accident?
Fortunately, there is treatment for PTSD. Counselors, psychiatrists, and psychologists treat PTSD. Of these three, only psychiatrists can prescribe medication. All of these three professions receive specialized training on how to spot, assess and treat PTSD.
Is there post-traumatic stress disorder compensation?
Yes. If you are suffering from PTSD as a result of a serious accident, you have a right to compensation from the wrongdoer.
My name is Renée Yvonne Gardner. I am the attorney at Gardner Law. I speak Spanish - hablo español. I handle car accidents, motor vehicle accidents, personal injury and wrongful death accident. If you were in an accident and are suffering from PTSD, please reach out to me at (408) 214-5555 or here: message me here. After an accident, talk to an attorney before you do anything besides: calling 911 and seek medical care.
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None of the information on this website of Attorney Renée Yvonne Gardner is offered as medical advice.
If you have been injured in any type of accident, please seek immediate medical attention and follow the advice of your doctor.