We most frequently think of post traumatic stress in relation to those who serve in a war zone. But the reality is that many events can cause PTSD. This includes sudden, frightening experiences such as a major car crash. PTSD is a severe and debilitating psychological disorder which can be extremely difficult to overcome.
When an individual experiences a psychologically traumatic event, he or she may develop post traumatic stress. Doctors diagnose people with PTSD when the following criteria are met:
- The individual was exposed to a traumatic event.
- The individual has frequent flashbacks and memories of the event.
- The individual becomes emotionally distant.
- The individual has trouble with sleeping, controlling anger, or concentration.
- These effects last for more than a month.
- These effects significantly impair the individual.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for PTSD. There are methods for managing the symptoms, including rehabilitation and medication, but an individual with post traumatic stress may have it for the rest of his or her life.
Personal Injury and Liability for PTSD
There are times when suffering from PTSD can be part of a personal injury lawsuit.
Physical Injuries and PTSD
Most commonly, PTSD can be part of the emotional pain and suffering portion of a lawsuit. That is, if you were physically injured, and due to the incident where you got hurt, you are suffering from PTSD, your lawyer can seek compensation for you due to your emotional pain and suffering. Virtually any injury can lead to PTSD. For example, sometimes after a serious car accident, the victim will have flashbacks to the experience and even be afraid to drive. In other cases, patients who lose babies or wake up during surgery can suffer from this disorder.
Purely Emotional Injuries and Liability for Post Traumatic Distress
Sometimes people wonder if they can seek compensation for emotional distress, even if they weren’t injured. The answer is yes, but only under very limited circumstances.
The first case under which a victim can be compensated due to a purely emotional injury, is called the bystander situation. For example, if you are the mother or father of a child, and you see your child seriously harmed or even killed due to a car crash, you have the right to seek compensation for seeing your child seriously hurt or killed. You must be physically close to the scene, you must have experienced shock due to the direct emotional impact of witnessing the event, and you must be closely related to the accident victim. This situation is one of the few cases in which a person can seek compensation for emotional injuries without physical harm.
Contact Us for Help
If, as a result of the negligence of another, you are suffering from PTSD, please contact us today. We will discuss your case with you and help you to determine if you are likely to recover for your post traumatic stress and other injuries.