• James S. Curtis

Can I Recover for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) After a Car Accident?

When most people hear that someone was injured in a car accident, they

immediately think of a physical injury, like a broken bone or a neck or back injury.

While physical injuries can be very serious, and sometimes catastrophic, mental

and emotional injuries can be just as devastating.


What is PTSD?


According to the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD is a psychiatric disorder

that may occur in people who have experience or witnessed a traumatic event,

which can include such events as a serious accident. Studies have shown that up to

10% of car accident victims are affected by PTSD. Signs and symptoms of PTSD

include:

  • Recurrent memories of the event causing you to fell anxious, afraid, guilty, or suspicious

  • Heart palpitations

  • Panic attacks

  • Nightmares

  • Avoidance from discussion of the event or of people in general, causing feelings of detachment

  • Mood swings

  • Fear

  • Helplessness

  • Feeling of numbness

  • Suicidal thoughts

Treatment for PTSD can include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy,

group therapy, and even medication.


Recovery for PTSD After a Florida Car Accident


Florida law allows for the recovery of damages for mental and emotional injuries

like PTSD. As PTSD is a recognized psychiatric disorder, it is a condition that

must be diagnosed by a medical professional. Accordingly, to recover damages for

PTSD in the state of Florida, you will first need to have been medically diagnosed


as suffering from the condition. Although not required to maintain a claim, you

should also have had some form of treatment for your condition.

Just like any injury, however, the insurance company will likely dispute the

existence of your condition and/or the cause of your condition in its defense of

your PTSD related claim. Because PTSD is a psychiatric disorder, the insurance

company will be able to obtain any prior records for psychiatric treatment/therapy

that you may have had in the past. The insurance company will get these records in

an attempt to show that your condition and its related symptoms pre-existed your

accident.


What Damages are Recoverable for PTSD?


Damages that can be recovered for PTSD include both economic and non-

economic damages. Economic damages are those damages that can be added up

on a calculator, such as medical bills (past and future) and lost wages (past and loss

of future earning capacity). However, in a case involving PTSD, the largest

component of your damages is likely going to be non-economic damages. Non-

economic damages are damages for your human losses, like mental anguish and

suffering that are not always easy to prove. Because they are damages for human

losses, it usually takes humans to prove these damages.

Although you can testify as to how your physical or mental condition may have

changed since the accident, the best evidence to prove your human losses is the

testimony from the people around you. There is no stronger evidence than the

testimony of, let’s say a neighbor or a co-worker, who have no stake in the

outcome of your case, who are able to discuss how you’ve changed since the

accident occurred.


Let SouthShore Injury Attorneys Help You


To best protect your rights after an accident, it’s important that you seek the help

of an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorneys at SouthShore Injury

Attorneys can assist you in recovering all of the damages to which you are entitled.

The attorneys at SouthShore Injury Attorneys handle only personal injury claims,

and are experienced in representing personal injury cases throughout the State of

Florida. Contact SouthShore Injury Attorneys at (813)419-3866 for a free

consultation.


Free Information


If you have questions about your Florida accident case, you can download our Free

Reports:

Find them on our website, or you can click the link provided. You can

also contact us at (813)419-3866 to talk directly to an Apollo Beach Personal

Injury Attorney now.


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