Can You Get PTSD from a Motorcycle Accident?
It’s natural to feel shocked or afraid during and after a traumatic event. This natural response can help to protect the body – but everyone deals with trauma differently. For most people, the effects will gradually disappear some time after a traumatic event. For some, though, the effects can linger and develop into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
As motorcycle accidents can be traumatic, it is possible to develop PTSD after a severe one. The more traumatic the event, the greater risk of developing PTSD. If you develop PTSD, you may be entitled to compensation.
Trust Phillips Law Group, one of Arizona’s largest consumer law firms. We have the right team to get you the compensation you deserve. Let us help your family as we have helped our more than 155,000 clients over 26 years. Contact Phillips Law Group today at (602) 222-2222 for a free consultation.
Who Can Develop PTSD After an Accident?
Motorcycle accidents can happen suddenly but have long-term consequences for all involved and their loved ones. It is estimated that more than 50 percent of people will experience some kind of trauma at least once during their lifetime.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, PTSD is a mental health disorder. It can develop in some people who have witnessed or experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.
PTSD can occur in all people of any age, background, or culture. It is not a sign of weakness. It is estimated that 6 percent of the world’s population will suffer PTSD at some point during their lifetime.
In a motorcycle accident, it is not only the rider who can develop PTSD. You may also suffer from PTSD if you were among the:
- Witnesses to the motorcycle accident
- Drivers or passengers of other vehicles involved in the accident
- Family members who must deal with death or serious injury of a loved one
- Persons who saw severalty or fatally injured victims
- Bystanders who provided assistance
- First responders who provided assistance
If you fall into one of these groups, it is important to determine whether you have developed PTSD.
How to Know If You Have PTSD
The only way to definitively determine whether or not you have PTSD is to receive a diagnosis from a qualified healthcare practitioner. However, there are some common symptoms that can demonstrate PTSD.
While the exact symptoms of PTSD may vary, they commonly fall into the following four categories:
- Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms): This can include recurring, unwanted, and distressing memories or flashbacks, dreams, or nightmares of a traumatic event. For example, someone with PTSD may continue to replay a motorcycle accident in their mind.
- Avoiding things that remind you of the event: Avoiding places, people, or activities associated with – or that remind you of – a motorcycle accident. For example, those involved in a motorcycle accident could develop a fear of riding. They may also experience heightened anxiety when riding a motorcycle.
- Having more negative thoughts and feelings than before the event: This can be experienced as feeling numb or being unable to focus or concentrate. It is also seen in changes in personality such as increased irritability or avoiding friends, relatives, and social activities. This is one way in which PTSD can manifest in everyday life.
- Feeling on edge (also called hyperarousal): For example, having difficulty sleeping, being overly alert to danger, feeling jittery, or being easily startled. Taking up bad habits can also be a result.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is important to seek medical help and get a diagnosis. Doctors may perform a physical and psychological evaluation to diagnose your condition.
At times, those suffering from PTSD may hesitate to seek assistance. They may overlook symptoms. In other cases, they may not make the connection between the symptom and the motorcycle accident. You must be alert and take action when you notice symptoms.
It is also important to collect evidence of how PTSD has negatively affected you. Keep copies of medical receipts. Keep a journal of how your injuries have affected your life.
Today there are many treatments available for PTSD. These, perhaps including therapy and medications, can teach you skills to address and cope with your symptoms.
To receive fair compensation after your accident, you should definitely contact a lawyer. An experienced attorney can help ensure that you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
So do not leave your settlement to chance. Schedule a free consultation today with Phillips & Associates.
How PTSD Can Affect Your Settlement
If PTSD has negatively impacted your life, you may be able to recover emotional distress damages. These may be in addition to the typical economic damages that are recoverable.
Economic damages are direct costs that result from the motorcycle accident and can include:
- Medical treatment
- Other medical expenses
- Lost wages and income
- Reduced earning capacity
Non-economic damages may not have financially impacted those suffering PTSD but otherwise significantly affected their lives.
Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering: When physical, mental and emotional distress has been caused by the accident.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: If an injured person has lost interest or joy in life. For example, maybe the rider is no longer able to ride a motorcycle due to an accident.
- Loss of consortium: This looks at the impact the accident has on a person with PTSD’s relationship with his or her spouse and other close family members. An accident may affect the injured person’s ability to comfort or care for a partner, parent, or child.
If the accident occurred while you were working, you may also qualify for workers’ compensation.
Challenges in Obtaining Fair Compensation for PTSD
PTSD can have a wide range of impacts in a person’s life. It can affect a person’s function at work and in close family relationships. Despite this, obtaining fair compensation can be challenging.
PTSD claims can be more difficult to prove. They tend to rely more heavily on the testimony and experience of the injured person than other injuries. For example, an X-ray can show definitively that a bone is broken. But proving conclusively that a person suffers from PTSD can be more complex.
Other examples of challenges in getting fair compensation for PTSD include:
- Facing the skeptical insurers and others who may nitpick your claim
- Demonstrating the impact and severity of PTSD
- Proving the motorcycle accident caused PTSD
The more time that passes between the accident and PTSD symptoms, the harder it is to establish a clear link. Thus, you must seek medical help as soon as you suspect that you are suffering from PTSD.
Some with PTSD may hesitate to file a claim because they are partially at fault for the accident. However, Arizona has comparative negligence laws. This means that, in some circumstances, even those partially at fault for an accident can still receive compensation.
You Don’t Need to Face the Challenges Alone
The challenges stress the importance of having a strong legal team supporting you. A legal team can assist you to collect the required information to get the compensation you and your family deserve.
If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident and may have developed PTSD, you need our strong legal team backing you up. This can ensure that you get all the financial compensation you are entitled to receive.
Phillips & Associates has recovered more than $1,000,000,000 for our clients over the years. Let us help your family too. Call (602) 222-2222 to schedule a free consultation.
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