After a car accident, victims can suffer various physical injuries, from lacerations or broken bones to more serious, debilitating injuries impacting the brain or spinal cord.
Aside from physical harm, the shock and devastation caused by serious car accidents can also lead to emotional trauma. Victims may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can negatively affect their everyday lives and relationships with spouses, friends, family members and co-workers.
Our reputable car accident lawyers in Appleton are prepared to determine your options for pursuing compensation for the emotional trauma you have experienced and any other injuries that have affected your life. Our initial consultations are free and confidential. You are not obligated to take legal action.
Damaging Effects of PTSD
PTSD is a mental health condition that can occur after experiencing a traumatic or stressful event. This includes serious car accidents. PTSD can have lasting, painful effects on a victim’s life. He or she may be struggling to function at home or work, or unable to maintain personal and intimate relationships.
Some factors that could increase the risk of PTSD for car accident victims include:
- The nature of the crash was particularly severe
- The victim suffered a critical or life-threatening injury
- The victim felt his or her life was in danger during the accident
- The victim witnessed the death of a loved one or another party
- The victim has previously experienced a traumatic or stressful event
Car accident victims struggling with PTSD may require extensive therapy for these issues. Treatment may be ongoing and involve taking medications to help address anxiety, depression or other issues.
If left untreated, PTSD can lead to major depression, drug abuse, alcoholism or self-destructive acts.
Identifying PTSD Symptoms After a Crash
PTSD symptoms victims may have after a crash include, but are not limited to:
- General fear and anxiety – An accident victim may have unwanted thoughts that can be overwhelming and will not go away without getting treatment.
- Reliving the crash and thinking about it often – The victim may avoid any reminder of the crash by not driving or even riding in a car. He or she may take a longer route going home or to work in order to avoid driving through or near the accident scene.
- Excessively worrying, feeling angry or irritable – An accident victim may have difficultly being able to relax since he or she is constantly anticipating danger. As a result, his or her senses are on high alert and could leave him or her drained of energy and fatigued.
- Nightmares, trouble sleeping and restlessness – The victim may have issues sleeping or having nightmares, leading to exhaustion and causing havoc on his or her mental state.
Many of these symptoms are not always immediately apparent after a car accident. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it could take up to three months to start experiencing PTSD symptoms and sometimes it may take longer.
In Wisconsin, PTSD can be diagnosed by a licensed clinical social worker, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist. To meet the criteria for PTSD, symptoms must last longer than a month and be severe enough to interfere with a victim’s daily life and relationships.
That is why it is vital to receive medical care as soon as possible and then consult with an experienced lawyer to help assess the damages you have suffered due to PTSD.
Pursuing Compensation for PTSD
Your lawyer will take into consideration not just your physical injuries, but also the emotional trauma you have experienced due to the crash.
To seek compensation for PTSD, negligence must have played a role. Another person’s negligent actions or inactions must have been the direct cause your injuries and the damages you have suffered.
You and your lawyer will need supportive evidence, such as a PTSD diagnosis from your treating doctor(s), medical bills related to your treatment and receipts for prescription medications. You must also show how having PTSD has impacted your ability to work and make a living.
Keeping a journal documenting your experiences and the ways it has limited you from interacting with others and doing certain activities you once enjoyed could help build a strong case for compensation.
Based on your circumstances, you may be eligible for financial compensation to cover mental health services, lost income or ongoing medical care as long as you file within three years from the date of the accident. Otherwise, the court may dismiss the case.
Our Firm is Ready to Help
The lawyers at Sigman Janssen are ready to help recover the maximum compensation possible after suffering PTSD from a serious car accident. If you were injured by a negligent driver, schedule a free case evaluation today. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront fees for our services. Our firm only receives payment at the end of the legal process if we obtain a settlement or verdict for you.
Legal Help You Can Trust. Ph: (877) 888-5201