When people think of car accidents, they usually consider physical injuries but not mental ones. What many people do not realize is that motor vehicle crashes can have a psychological effect in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder.
PTSD does not occur after every crash, but certain accidents and other factors increase the chances that someone will suffer mentally. The symptoms can vary from mild to severe and, if they affect daily life, the victim may be able to legally recoup some losses.
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
According to Familydoctor.org, it is normal for victims of a car accident to experience certain feelings right after an accident. Common ones include anger, nervousness, shock, guilt and uneasiness. These feelings go away after a while for many victims, but not everyone is so lucky.
People whose feelings do not go away and are strong enough to interfere with daily living usually receive the diagnosis for PTSD. These symptoms are often:
- Constant memories of the accident
- Loss of connection with people and events
- Excessive irritability or anger
- Avoidance of driving or riding in a car
Legal considerations for a personal injury claim
FindLaw discusses that although PTSD symptoms may be eligible for general damages after an accident, it is harder to prove in court or calculate an associated dollar amount. A judge needs to see evidence of a professional diagnosis of PTSD as well as proof that the condition is due to the crash. To determine a dollar amount for the condition, it helps if the victim has a prognosis and is able to prove how it prevents the ability to work or live fully.