When people think about car accident injuries, they usually think about broken bones, lacerations, and head injuries. This is not surprising since these injuries are visible and people talk about them openly all the time. Rarely do individuals consider the mental damage that accident victims often experience. That’s why you may not know if you can get compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder.
However, this is a serious condition even though it’s not visible. For some people, it’s so severe that their personal and professional lives are badly affected. If you were involved in a car accident and you’ve subsequently been diagnosed with PTSD, you may be entitled to compensation. However, you’ll need to contact an Alabama car accident lawyer for assistance.
What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), you may have PTSD if you experienced a serious trauma and you’re experiencing some of the following symptoms.
Symptoms of avoidance can include:
- Avoiding driving or going to back to the scene of the crash
- Trying not to talk or think about the incident
These may include:
- Nightmares about the accident
- Recurrent distressing memories of the accident
- Severe physical and emotional reactions when something reminds you of the crash
Negative Changes in Mood and Thinking
Some of these symptoms include:
- Negative thoughts concerning yourself or other people
- Problems with memory, including forgetting key aspects of the accident
- Feelings of detachment from family and friends
- Lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities
Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions
These changes may include:
- Irritability or angry outbursts
- Always being on guard
- Being easily frightened
- Having trouble sleeping and concentrating
- Overwhelming guilt or shame
Many people experience emotional challenges after the trauma of a car accident. They may be fearful, anxious, worried or shocked. However, their daily functioning isn’t significantly affected, and their symptoms usually lessen over time. For people with PTSD, the symptoms continue for more than a month and they may get worse or occur more frequently. These symptoms can cause impairment in social interactions, work or other daily activities.
Risk Factors for PTSD
Some people get involved in serious car accidents and they can return to daily life when their physical injuries heal sufficiently. However, some struggle to heal psychologically long after they recover from the bruises and broken bones. No one can say for sure why this is. However, experts have identified a number of risk factors for PTSD.
- Serious physical injuries
- Witnessing the death of someone else involved in the accident
- Disassociation during the accident or immediately after
- A perceived threat to one’s life or that of others
- A family history of mental illness
- A personal history of trauma
- A lack of social support after the traumatic incident
- Previous problems with psychological adjustment
Getting Compensation for PTSD
PTSD is a recognized mental health condition. Some victims require intensive treatment before they are able to work and earn an income again. Therefore, this disorder should be seen on the same level as a physical injury when it comes to seeking compensation. Even if other people think you’re making a big deal out of nothing, you should still include your diagnosis in your claim for damages.
If the accident was due to someone else’s negligence, they should have to compensate you for all your losses. Your lawyer will help you to gather and present proof of all your damages.
Contact The Vance Law Firm Today to Get Help with Your Case
Our vehicular accident attorneys will help you get the compensation you deserve after a crash in Alabama. We know that PTSD is real, and it can be debilitating. Therefore, we’ll take it as seriously as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and bone fractures. PTSD can lead to failed relationships and lost opportunities so it must be taken seriously. We’ll make sure we get a comprehensive medical report on your condition as well as a psychological evaluation so we can make a claim for full and fair compensation.
You don’t have to deal with the aftermath of a car accident alone when the Vance Law Firm is here to help. Your first consultation is free so you shouldn’t have to think twice about seeking a legal opinion. If you choose to hire us, we’ll never ask you to pay us upfront. Instead, we’ll get paid when you do, whether through settlement or a verdict. Make that call today!