Being involved in a car accident in Texas can have consequences beyond a victim’s physical injuries. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to a car accident may develop, causing the victim multiple life-altering symptoms.
Understanding the impact of PTSD on car accident victims is crucial for those pursuing justice and compensation. If you or your loved one have been seriously injured in a Houston car accident, you’ll benefit from speaking to an experienced attorney. The attorneys at Ceja Law Firm PLLC are prepared to help you pursue the full and fair compensation you need and deserve.
What Are the Signs of PTSD?
PTSD is a mental health condition from a traumatic event, such as a serious car accident. PTSD was once called “shell shock” and was primarily used to diagnose military members who fought in wars. Now experts recognize this disorder can appear in anyone with trauma, including car accident victims.
Many people who are involved in a car accident face temporary challenges but get better with self-care. Those with PTSD may experience symptoms that interfere with routine life activities for years. Car accidents are a leading cause of trauma. PTSD symptoms can vary from patient to patient and include the following:
- Experiencing lengthy or intense psycho-emotional distress when exposed to specific triggers
- Re-experiencing the car accident through flashbacks, nightmares, or repeated intrusive thoughts
- Loss of interest in engaging in once enjoyable activities
- Feeling estranged or disconnected from others
- Victims suffering from PTSD may try to avoid anything that reminds them of the event
- Concentration and sleep difficulties
- Avoiding persons, activities, and places related to the car accident
Other mental health conditions like anxiety and depression can compound a person’s PTSD and impair a victim’s quality of life.
What to Do If You’re Experiencing PTSD After a Car Accident
If you’re experiencing a PTSD symptom or other health complication, the steps you take can help or hurt your likelihood of successfully recovering compensation. It’s crucial you visit a healthcare provider as soon as possible and make sure a medical professional treats all of your significant mental and physical injuries. After you’ve received medical treatment, you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the rest of the claims process.
You should notify the liable insurer about the car accident as soon as possible. If you’ve already hired an attorney, they will send a letter of representation for you. It’s important you keep everything related to your case including your medication names, treatment records, and other documents supporting your diagnosis.
Finally, it would help if you continued working with a qualified mental health professional who will keep careful notes about how PTSD affects your day-to-day life. The more evidence you have of how PTSD hinders your ability to work and engage in other activities, the easier it will be to prove your case.
Calculating the Value of Car Accident Emotional Injuries
Determining the value of a PTSD car accident case involves evaluating various factors. Generally, the more severe and life-altering the PTSD symptoms, the greater the value of the case. Specifically, the higher the cost of counseling, therapy, medication, and other necessary treatments to address emotional injuries, the higher the value of the case.
Car accident victims diagnosed with PTSD may not be able to return to work. Victims can pursue compensation for their lost earnings due to their inability to work. When a victim is able to work, but at a reduced capacity, he or she can pursue damages for their reduced work capacity and for all of the work they missed immediately after the car accident.
Additionally, victims can pursue damages for pain and suffering, a type of non-economic damages. Evaluating the impact and severity of emotional injuries on the victim’s daily life, relationships, and overall well-being. Victims can also pursue anticipated future medical expenses and ongoing emotional distress.
How Much Compensation Can I Recover for PTSD Through a Lawsuit or Claim?
How much compensation you may be able to recover depends on the unique circumstances of your case. The best way to understand your case’s value is to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.
The attorneys at Ceja Law Firm PLLC regularly work with financial and medical experts to determine all of the expenses related to our client’s cases currently and in the future. Accepting a settlement offer that is too low can result in you not obtaining all of the damages you need to pay for medical expenses, child care, medical care, and other ongoing expenses.
If you’re ongoing PTSD symptoms limit you from working, you’ll likely recover more compensation than someone who can continue working. Other factors that could add to the value of your settlement include:
- Your ability to function day-to-day
- Your role in the collision
- The effect of PTSD on your relationship with close loved ones
- Your specific prognosis
- Whether you have additional medical complications or injuries
Your attorney may consider additional factors when determining what constitutes a fair settlement offer. Before accepting an offer from your insurer, speaking to an attorney is important. Most initial offers are far too low, and your attorney can begin negotiating a fair settlement amount with the insurance adjuster or defendant.
You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim for compensation. The sooner you speak to an attorney, the more time your attorney will have to investigate your case, gather evidence, and negotiate a favorable outcome.
Discuss Your Case with a Skilled Texas PTSD Attorney
Many car accident victims suffer a mental and emotional toll. If you’ve experienced PTSD symptoms, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Ceja Law Firm PLLC have the experience and skills to recover compensation for car accident victims in Houston and throughout Texas. Don’t hesitate to contact Ceja Law Firm PLLC to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation case evaluation and learn how we can advocate for you and your rights.