Can You Sue for PTSD After a Car Accident?

May 1, 2021

PTSD After a Car Accident

The last thing anyone expects is that they will be injured in a vehicle accident. However, car accidents happen unexpectedly in the state of Arizona, and it is not uncommon for those involved to sustain significant injuries. When most people think of vehicle accident injuries, they think of physical injuries such as spinal cord trauma, brain injuries, broken and dislocated bones, etc. However, there are many unseen car accident injuries that also affect victims. This can include emotional and psychological trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Here, we want to discuss whether or not a person can receive compensation for PTSD after an Arizona vehicle accident.

The Symptoms of PTSD After an Accident Can be Debilitating

Vehicle accidents are not uncommon, and they are often severe. Individuals who sustain significant emotional and psychological trauma, including PTSD, may struggle to return to daily life. Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD that can affect a person’s life include the following:

  • Continually re-living the experience
  • Avoiding certain people or places that remind them of the accident
  • Hyper-arousal, which includes intense feelings of fear, anger, anxiety, etc.
  • Trouble sleeping because this can trigger flashbacks and nightmares
  • Other types of behavioral changes, including extensive bouts of depression, anxiety disorders, trouble concentrating, and even suicidal thoughts

Filing a Claim for PTSD Can be Difficult

If you or somebody you love has been the victim of the vehicle accident and are suffering from PTSD as a result of the incident, it may be possible to receive compensation for these emotional and psychological traumas. However, recovering compensation for PTSD is going to be more challenging than recovering compensation for more traditional physical injuries. There are several reasons for this, including the following:

  • PTSD is considered an emotional and psychological disorder, and it can be more difficult to convey the impact and severity of this type of injury to the insurance carrier or a personal injury jury.
  • Any person seeking compensation for PTSD must have received an official diagnosis from a qualified medical professional. Additionally, it needs to be established that PTSD was directly related to the vehicle accident.
  • Properly determining the value of a PTSD claim can be challenging because there may or may not be any direct hospital bills or disabilities that can help quantify the damages.

All of that aside, a skilled Phoenix car accident attorney can work with trusted medical and psychological experts to help you through this. First, it is important for us to point out that you should not rush to settle any vehicle accident claim. The full effects of a vehicle accident, including symptoms of PTSD, may not become apparent until sometime after the incident. If a vehicle accident victim in Arizona settles their case quickly, there will be no way to go back and re-open the claim later if symptoms of PTSD arise. When an attorney gets involved, they will make sure that their client seeks the appropriate medical and psychological care needed to help quantify all of the injury expenses. If an attorney does work to secure compensation for PTSD, this will typically be classified as part of the “pain and suffering damages” associated with the vehicle accident.

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