Up until relatively recently, the psychological damage that can occur as the result of suffering an accident tended to be ignored by personal injury law. This, however, is changing fast as awareness of the negative impact of the memories of the trauma suffered can have on a person’s life for many years after the event. There are several disturbing symptoms of PTSD as a result of a traumatic event to be aware of that manifests themselves stemming from an accident or serious head injury.
What Is PTSD?
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), PTSD is a psychiatric condition that can result from an overwhelming traumatic event. Events that are commonly associated with PTSD include natural disasters, terrorist acts, war/combat, rape, death threats, serious injury and being involved in an accident.
PTSD manifests in a range of symptoms, including distressing flashbacks, persistent nightmares, disturbing memories of the event, stress and anxiety, emotional instability, inability to concentrate, as well as a number of physical effects like nausea, trembling, dizziness and pain.
How Common Is PTSD?
It is a common misconception that PTSD is a new disorder. While the modern diagnosis has only existed for a relatively short period of time, we now understand that many people who came back from combat in wars with severe mental disorders known at various other times as “shell shock” or “combat fatigue” were most probably suffering from PTSD.
These days, it is estimated that around 3.5 percent of Americans are living with the disorder whether they realize it or not. This translates into the somewhat shocking statistic that one in 11 people will be diagnosed with the condition at some point in their life, with women twice as likely to have it than men. Men and women from ethnic minorities also have a much higher chance of being diagnosed.
Can I File a Claim for PTSD as the Result of an Accident?
After you have fallen victim to a serious head injury that has caused PTSD, it is important to know that you still have rights to file a claim. However, there are some conditions. Filing a successful PTSD compensation claim depends on a person proving that they are suffering from the disorder. This requires psychiatric evaluation and a report confirming a diagnosis from a licensed and practicing psychiatrist. Secondly, you must be able to prove that the disorder has come as the result of an accident, and that the accident occurred through no fault of your own. Finally, you will need to hire the services of a reputable lawyer with experience in litigating cases like your own.
Whether or not you have been seriously injured in an accident, the traumatic event that led to it can leave a long-lasting memory that causes significant psychological distress many years afterward. If you feel that you may have a legitimate claim, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer today for free advice on how to begin your case. You do not need to suffer in silence any longer – help is at hand if you are prepared to reach out.