Everyone recognizes that car accidents can cause devastating physical injuries, but medical science is increasingly discovering that the mental and emotional damage from car accidents can be just as devastating. One of the most serious forms of mental and emotional pain is known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A large American Psychological Association study on PTSD determined that a staggering 9 percent of car accident victims develop PTSD. Although the tremendous damage caused by PTSD is much more difficult to see than something like a broken leg, that does not mean that PTSD is any less real or any less deserving of full and fair compensation than a physical injury. If you have been involved in a car accident and have suffered devastating mental pain as a result, you should contact an experienced and compassionate car accident attorney.
Common PTSD Symptoms to Watch for After a Car Accident
PTSD is a serious psychological disorder that desperately needs treatment. It is also quite complicated, it is difficult to diagnose and it is not completely understood by scientists. There are many symptoms that are common with car accident induced PTSD, a few to watch for include:
- Repeatedly seeing or reliving the car accident in your head;
- A general feeling of numbness to the world and life;
- Feelings of intense agitation and stress; and
- Avoidance of things related to the car accident, such as the accident site or driving in general.
If you are suffering through some, or all, of these symptoms after a car accident, you should seek professional medical assistance immediately.
The Importance of Expert Testimony
While most people have a general awareness of PTSD, the vast majority of people are not qualified to give an assessment of the presence of PTSD or to assess the impact of the disorder on the victim. This is where expert testimony becomes critically important. When a fact is beyond the knowledge base of the average person, such as the diagnosis of PTSD, a qualified expert is legally required to testify and make a fair assessment of the situation before the court. Proving PTSD after a car accident typically requires the following steps:
- Prove the initial event (the car accident) occurred;
- Testify to the presence of the symptoms of PTSD to prove the existence of the condition;
- Connect the symptoms of PTSD to the car accident; and
- Show how the victim’s life has been negatively disrupted by PTSD.
Building a successful case to recover damages for PTSD is complicated and takes the experience of a qualified legal professional. You should get your case in the hands of an attorney as soon as possible. A car accident attorney with experience handling PTSD cases can comprehensively review your situation and help you decide how to move forward.
Contact An Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Many victims of serious car accidents suffer through the devastating effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. That damage deserves to be fairly compensated, but getting compensation for non physical car accident injuries will always be a challenge. If you have been involved in a major car accident and you are showing PTSD symptoms as a result, please do not hesitate any longer. You need to contact an experienced Chicago car accident attorney.