Each of us, when we step into a vehicle, accept that accidents can happen. However, most of us go through life never really thinking about the potential damages that can come with a car accident. When we do think about these damages, we usually think of things like hospital bills and the price of a new car—the costs we can see.
Unfortunately, there are many damages associated with car accidents that victims and their loved ones may not be able to see.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident and are struggling with intrusive thoughts and negative emotional changes, you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder related to that initial traumatic event. Treatment can help manage symptoms and prevent them from worsening. If your car accident was caused by someone else, you may be eligible to receive compensation for treatment and other expenses.
What Is PTSD?
According to the Mayo Clinic, post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition often accompanied by flashbacks, uncontrollable thoughts, and severe anxiety. This is a condition that is usually triggered by a terrifying event.
A sufferer may have been involved in or may have simply witnessed a traumatic event. It’s no surprise that car accident victims may experience PTSD given the intense fear and stress that often accompanies these incidents.
Ways to Spot PTSD after a Car Accident
First of all, it’s important to remember that PTSD is a serious condition. If you are worried that you may be suffering from it, especially if you are struggling with thoughts of self-harm, speak to a doctor as soon as you can. PTSD can make you feel like life is out of control, but treatment can help stop the progression of the condition and give you methods for managing symptoms. Because of the severity of the condition, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as you can.
While PTSD can affect different people in different ways, there are some symptoms that you can watch out for if you’re worried that you or a loved one may be suffering from it.
- Intrusive memories — this may include flashbacks, severe distress, unwanted recurring memories, or upsetting dreams relating to the traumatic event.
- Avoidance — this may include avoiding things or people that remind you of the event, or avoiding talking or thinking about the event.
- Negative mood changes — this is a range of symptoms including hopelessness, relationship difficulties, lack of usual interest, feeling numb, and feeling detached.
- Changes in emotional or physical responses — this includes trouble sleeping and concentrating, irritability, being on guard, overwhelming guilt, and being easily startled.
PTSD symptoms can vary from minor to severe depending on whether or not you are under stress. There are also triggers that can also create a sudden burst of symptoms. With this in mind, you may need to see a doctor even if you only experience symptoms in specific circumstances. If you feel your life is out of control, or if you are thinking of harming yourself, reach out to a doctor or loved one for help.
The Financial Cost of PTSD
As we’ve shown, PTSD can have a high emotional cost. Unfortunately, it can also bring with it considerable financial costs.
For some sufferers, it becomes impossible to return to life as it was before the ensuing event. They may need to find a new job or may even find it difficult to live in the same home. Medical treatment, including counseling, psychotherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy, each adds to the cost, along with antidepressants or other medications that may be a part of your treatment.
All of these costs can add up quickly, but they may be covered by the insurance of the at-fault party in your car accident.
Seeking Compensation for PTSD
In Texas, victims of car accidents can sue for compensation for their losses if they can prove that their accident was caused by someone else. If you were involved in a car accident and are suffering from PTSD as a result, you may be able to receive compensation for several of the financial and emotional losses you’ve sustained.
Losses related to PTSD that could potentially be covered include the following:
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning power
- Lost relationships
- Medical care
- Emotional trauma
Of course, some of these losses have an exact cost, and some don’t. Generally, compensation is either agreed upon as part of insurance or settlement negotiations, or through a court judgment.
Compassionate Car Accident Attorneys for Texas
If you’re worried you may be suffering from PTSD, seeking treatment is important not only to help you manage the symptoms you are experiencing, but also to help stop those symptoms from getting worse.
If your PTSD has developed as the result of a car or truck accident in Texas, payment for that treatment may be the responsibility of the at-fault party. The Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze and Johns, PLLC, would be proud to help you seek the compensation you need.
If you were involved in a car wreck and find yourself struggling with the mental effects, talk to Lapeze and Johns, PLLC, about your legal options.