Being in a car accident can result in injuries that are not as obvious as physical damage. For some people, this traumatic event can cause mental injuries that affect daily life.
Car accidents are common causes of post-traumatic stress disorder. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, and if their impact impairs daily function, the injured party may be able to collect damages.
Symptoms of PTSD
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the symptoms of PTSD fall under three main categories: Emotional numbness, trauma recollection and increased arousal. Common indications include trouble sleeping, having flashbacks or nightmares, avoiding activities, difficulty concentrating and irritability. A PTSD diagnosis occurs if these symptoms continue for more than one month.
People who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder may have issues with productivity at work or school, and some may turn to bad habits, such as alcohol or drugs, to help them cope.
Proving post–traumatic stress disorder
According to FindLaw, PTSD does not only occur in victims of serious accidents. Even those with minor injuries can suffer from PTSD because it is usually due to the reaction to the accident rather than the crash itself. Someone who has an official PTSD diagnosis can attempt to collect damages.
Compared to physical injuries, PTSD is more difficult to prove in court, and damages are also more challenging to calculate. Along with providing a diagnosis from a healthcare provider, the victim needs to be able to show that the accident was the cause of the mental injury. It also helps to have a prognosis.
Determining general damages is also easier if the victim can demonstrate the impact on daily functions, such as missed days of work, inability to socialize or sleep disturbance.