When one hears the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), they often think of a sad affliction that solely affects soldiers returning from battle. Indeed, PTSD does afflict members of armed forces who have witnessed and experienced traumatic events at an alarming rate. However, PTSD also affects persons outside of the hellish confines of war: it is simply a psychological condition affecting those who have experienced a traumatic event, no matter how the circumstances varied or where the event occurred.
Victims of motor vehicle accidents are a common group to develop PTSD. In any given year, approximately 1% of the US population will be injured in motor vehicle accidents. Of those, approximately 9% motor vehicle accident survivors develop PTSD. (As many as 8% of our entire country’s population live with the burden of PTSD symptoms, no matter what the cause.) “In one large study, accidents were shown to be the traumatic event most frequently experienced by males (25%) and the second most frequent traumatic event experienced by females (13%) in the United States. Over 100 billion dollars are spent every year to take care of the damage caused by auto accidents.” Car accident victims who develop PTSD may feel as if insult was added to injury. Not only must one cope with the physical pain; now they have psychological hardship to accompany it.
The symptoms of PTSD can be debilitating, including flashbacks, depression, withdrawal from social settings, negativity, anxiety, hopelessness, and phobias, among other symptoms. Treatment may be time-consuming and costly. While there is no fix-all, luckily, there is some form of recourse: personal injury lawsuits. These lawsuits may allege Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and seek compensation for this specific disorder.
How do personal injury PTSD lawsuits work? In addition to proving the person’s negligence, these lawsuits must prove the existence of PTSD, which is accomplished through the use of expert testimony. Specifically, an expert must be called to testify to first, the injury, that psychological damage occurred, as proven by various symptoms; secondly, that a specific traumatic event triggered the psychological injury; and third, that damages occurred as a result of the event (including, for example, treatment for the PTSD).
Proving PTSD also paves the way for proving a claim of Intentional or Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and subsequently was diagnosed with PTSD, or believe you may have PTSD as a result of the accident, call the skilled attorneys at Brooks Law Group today. We can help determine whether you are entitled to any compensation.