How Does PTSD Affect Your Auto Accident Claim in South Carolina?

by | Jul 30, 2023 | Auto Accidents

woman-with-PTSD-holding-headA car accident can cause severe physical injuries as well as mental anguish and emotional trauma. In fact, conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychiatric disorders are extremely common after an auto accident. They can take a serious toll on your mental health, which can affect your entire life.

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, also called “PTSD,” is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced traumatic events. An individual may develop PTSD after an actual set of traumatic circumstances, such as a life-threatening event, or even a perceived situation that did not actually pose a direct threat to the person.

Some examples of situations that can lead to PTSD include natural disasters, terrorist acts, war and/or combat, sexual assault/rape, domestic violence, bullying, and serious accidents – including car accidents. In the past, PTSD was referred to as “shell shock” or “combat fatigue,” as it was primarily identified in people who had been exposed to war and combat situations.

Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD symptoms can be identified according to four categories: intrusion, avoidance, alterations in cognition and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity.

People who suffer from PTSD often have intrusive thoughts that involve memories or distressing dreams related to the traumatic event they experienced. These thoughts are often called “flashbacks.”

PTSD victims typically avoid reminders of the traumatic event, including people, places, activities, objects, and situations that may trigger thinking about the event. They often avoid talking about the traumatic event, making it difficult to get appropriate psychological help through counseling or therapy.

Alterations in cognition and mood may be displayed through an inability to remember important aspects of a traumatic event. The affected person may have negative thoughts or feelings about themselves, including wrongly blaming themselves for what happened. People with PTSD often experience ongoing fear, anger, guilt, or shame.

People with PTSD often experience alterations in arousal and reactivity that can affect their relationships with other people. This includes having angry outbursts, behaving recklessly, and acting in a self-destructive manner. They may be overly suspicious of other people and have problems concentrating and sleeping.

PTSD is a serious mental health condition that can be treated. However, because people with this disorder are often reluctant to discuss the traumatic event and skeptical of those who try to help, obtaining the help they need can be difficult.

Car Accident PTSD Statistics

According to the American Psychiatric Association, an estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD at some point in their lifetime. PTSD affects people of all ages, ethnicities, nationalities, and cultures. However, women are twice as likely than men to have the condition. Additionally, U.S. Latinos, African Americans, and Native Americans are disproportionately affected with higher rates of PTSD.  

Auto accidents are a leading cause of PTSD. Approximately 22% of all road traffic accident survivors develop PTSD, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Some categories of individuals, which were divided by country, race, gender, and education level, showed that as many as 58% of individuals may develop PTSD after a motor vehicle accident.

What Should I Do If I Develop PTSD After a Car Accident?

man-upset-in-car-after-SC-car-accidentIf you are diagnosed with PTSD after a car accident or have experienced intense emotions or symptoms of PTSD, you should immediately contact a car accident lawyer. You may be able to get compensation to cover the losses you’ve experienced as a result of your condition. Your attorney can review your medical records and help you determine if a PTSD car accident lawsuit is the best way to proceed with your case.

How to Prove PTSD After a Car Accident

PTSD can be extremely difficult to prove after a car accident. The insurance company will likely try to minimize your symptoms and may even blame you for the situation. However, there are some ways that you can improve your chances of getting PTSD compensation after a wreck.

  •   Get emergency medical treatment right away and discuss your mental health concerns.
  •   Schedule an appointment with a counselor or therapist to be evaluated for PTSD.
  •   Keep all medical records in an organized folder or binder.
  •   Keep a post-accident journal that details how your PTSD symptoms affect your life.
  •   Have friends and family members write letters detailing your PTSD symptoms.
  •   Have your employer or supervisor keep a record of how your work has been affected.

It’s important to document all your symptoms and how they impact you after an accident. PTSD can be difficult to diagnose. The insurance company may try to deny your compensation without medical records clearly indicating that you have PTSD that is the result of the car accident.

How Much Is My PTSD Claim Worth?

couple-seeking-PTSD-counselingIf you are diagnosed with PTSD that was caused by an auto accident, you may be able to get compensation. South Carolina personal injury law allows you to recover compensation for all your losses, including mental anguish like post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD can be a long-term condition. Thus, it can be expensive to treat. You may need to pay for psychiatric treatment by a doctor who will prescribe medications for anxiety or depression that is secondary to PTSD. You may also need to pay for counselors and therapists for talk therapy.

If your PTSD is severe, you may be unable to drive and have to rely on rideshare services or other means of transportation. You may even need to be admitted to an inpatient mental health facility to address your symptoms.

You can get compensation to cover all your expenses related to PTSD through a lawsuit verdict or settlement with the car insurance company. You can also get money for pain and suffering, which may be extensive in a PTSD lawsuit.

Contact a PTSD Car Accident Lawyer for Help Today

Attorney Venus Poe knows that you want to get back to normal life. However, if you have PTSD, it can be hard to find a new normal. She will fight to get you a fair amount of compensation so that you can get the medical help you need to treat serious mental health conditions like PTSD after an auto accident.

Call attorney Venus Poe at (864) 963-0310 for a case consultation.



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