Pursuing Compensation for Ptsd From an Accident

Being involved in an Illinois motor vehicle crash is a frightening experience. Experiencing fear during the experience and in its immediate aftermath is normal. However, prolonged or excessive fear and anxiety after a wreck may be a sign of a mental health condition.

You may have developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of your experience. If you have PTSD from a car accident someone else caused, you could be entitled to seek compensation in Illinois.

What Is PTSD?

A human’s natural “fight-or-flight” response may kick in when they experience a traumatic event. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), PTSD occurs when the symptoms of a person’s reaction to trauma linger or recur over time.

Anyone can develop PTSD. Symptoms of the condition may begin to arise within three months of a traumatic experience. It’s also possible for symptoms of PTSD to appear later.

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD from a Car Accident

It’s not uncommon for motor vehicle accident victims to develop PTSD. A review of past studies in the journal Medicine indicates approximately 22.25 percent of motor vehicle crash survivors do.

According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of PTSD from a car accident include:

  • Intrusive memories: Flashbacks, nightmares, extreme reactions to reminders of a traumatic experience, and recurring memories that are hard to ignore are common PTSD symptoms.
  • Avoidance: Someone who has PTSD from a car accident might intentionally avoid reminders of their experience. For example, they might try to limit their driving after a vehicle accident, or they might avoid the area where their wreck occurred.
  • Thinking and mood changes: PTSD can result in numerous changes to someone’s mood and thoughts. A person might have negative attitudes about themselves or the world. They may feel emotionally numb and struggle to enjoy previously enjoyable experiences. These symptoms of PTSD from a car accident can even prevent them from maintaining positive relationships with others.
  • Physical and emotional changes: Someone with PTSD may be constantly on guard or easily frightened. They may react in anger too easily, or they may be prone to excessive feelings of shame. Their symptoms could also affect their memory and/or ability to concentrate.

Additionally, observe your family members or others who may have been involved in the crash with you. It’s sometimes necessary for an outside observer to spot the signs and symptoms of PTSD.

The Mayo Clinic also states that children six years of age or younger may experience unique PTSD symptoms that older kids and adults don’t exhibit. Specifically, they might re-enact traumatic experiences through play. Or, they may have scary dreams that don’t seem to clearly relate to their traumatic experiences. Keep an eye out for these symptoms in your children if they were present during the collision.

Seeking Compensation for PTSD from a Car Accident in Illinois

Illinois is an at-fault car accident state. If you were injured in a motor vehicle crash caused by a negligent driver in Illinois, you can seek compensation from the at-fault party. Doing so involves filing a claim with their insurance company. If the insurance company doesn’t make an appropriate settlement offer, you can file a lawsuit to pursue the money you deserve.

When you file a claim or lawsuit in Illinois, you can seek compensation for both economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses have assigned dollar values. For instance, you may have sustained physical injuries in a motor vehicle wreck. Those injuries required costly treatment. Your medical expenses would be an example of an economic loss resulting from your car accident (or motorcycle accident, bus accident, truck accident, etc.).

Noneconomic losses have a negative impact on your quality of life without having an objective dollar value. For example, you may struggle with physical and emotional pain after a crash. You might be eligible to receive compensation for these struggles.

PTSD from a car accident is a condition that may lead to both economic and noneconomic losses. It can result in economic losses if you need to undergo treatment for PTSD. Your condition may also cause noneconomic struggles due to how it disrupts your life. You can seek compensation for both the economic and noneconomic losses resulting from your PTSD when filing a claim.

Gathering Evidence of PTSD in Illinois

An insurance company may try to settle your car accident case for the lowest settlement amount possible. When seeking compensation for PTSD from a car accident, you must submit evidence to show why you deserve the amount of money you’re pursuing.

Evidence of PTSD in a motor vehicle crash case could include:

  • Medical records
  • Therapy notes
  • A doctor’s testimony
  • Testimony of family members
  • A journal in which you track your symptoms and the impact they have on your life

Some people assume they aren’t eligible for compensation after a motor vehicle crash if they didn’t sustain physical injuries. That’s not necessarily the case. You may develop PTSD after a motor vehicle collision despite walking away physically unharmed. If you receive a PTSD diagnosis after a crash, you might have legal options, even if you have no physical injuries.

Other Common Causes of PTSD

Pursuing Compensation for Ptsd From an Accident

Motor vehicle accidents aren’t the only types of traumatic experiences that can result in PTSD. Other such experiences may include:

Depending on the circumstances, someone who endures one of the above might also be eligible for PTSD compensation.

Contact an Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer

Proving you deserve compensation for PTSD you suffer due to a car accident is a complex process. You need to thoroughly document your economic losses while also assigning value to noneconomic losses. You may struggle throughout this process if you’ve never had this type of experience before.

There’s no need to face the insurance company alone. Our Illinois car accident attorneys at JJ Legal are on hand to offer the representation you deserve. Learn more about how we may help you by calling us at 312-200-2000 or contacting us online for a free case evaluation.

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