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Can I Sue for Emotional Distress or PTSD From a Car Accident Even If Not Physically Injured?

Posted on in Car Accidents

Waukegan Personal Injury Law Firm

Being in a car wreck can be extremely traumatic, even if you did not sustain severe physical injuries yourself. If you witnessed a death or saw severely injured people being pulled from crushed vehicles, you could be at risk of developing emotional disorders such as anxiety or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You could also suffer psychological aftereffects from the nature of the collision itself, such as one involving multiple vehicles, fires, or rollovers. 

Many People Suffer from PTSD After a Car Accident

A study released in 2018 found that roughly one in five survivors of roadway traffic accidents suffered from PTSD. Females and people whose education stopped short of a college degree were more likely than others to develop PTSD. 

Symptoms of PTSD After a Car Crash

Most people who have been in a bad car accident will feel anxious the next time they drive and may even have a nightmare or two about the car accident. To claim personal injury compensation, however, your psychological condition must be more severe than that. You will need a medical diagnosis of a condition that requires treatment. Symptoms of PTSD, for example, include insomnia, recurring and intrusive flashbacks, hypervigilance, an exaggerated startle response, irritability, disruption of your ability to work, and estrangement from others. Physical problems such as high blood pressure, body aches, and fatigue can also accompany PTSD. 

Obtaining Compensation for PTSD Caused by a Car Wreck

If you require costly psychiatric treatment and are unable to work for a lengthy time, you may need to seek compensation from the at-fault driver in the accident and/or their insurance provider, generally with the help of a personal injury lawyer

If you can prove that you suffered PTSD as a direct result of a car accident caused by another person’s negligence or carelessness, you will generally be able to demand compensation for your medical expenses not covered by insurance, your lost wages during the time you were unable to work, and non-financial pain and suffering.

Anyone making a claim related to PTSD should expect that their past medical history will be closely examined by the defense. Any prior diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder will likely be used to argue against your claim that your illness was primarily caused by the car accident. 

Speak to an Elite Waukegan Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured physically and/or emotionally in a serious highway collision that was caused by another person’s negligence (not your own fault), a knowledgeable Lake County car accident lawyer can help you obtain full compensation for your injuries. For a free consultation, call the law offices of Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303.

Sources: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5779792/

 

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