Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an emotional and psychological response to a horrific or devastating event in a person’s life.
Most often associated with soldiers returning from battle, it is now being recognized that PTSD symptoms can also manifest in a person who has survived a traumatic event, such as a car accident. Depending on the severity, PTSD can have its own devastating effects on an individual, causing depression, physical ailments, and isolation. If someone you love is having a difficult time mentally recovering after a car crash, speak with a St. Louis car accident attorney about seeking compensation in order to help get them the psychiatric care that they may need.
What Is PTSD?
Psychologists characterize PTSD as a victim’s inability to shut off the normal flight or fight reaction we experience during and after a traumatizing event. Every person reacts differently in these types of situations and for some the ability to bounce back mentally is hindered.
Common Symptoms of PTSD
- The need for the victim to replay the event over and over in their mind.
- Feelings of depression and hopelessness and an inability to feel other types of positive emotions.
- An avoidance of anything even mildly associated with the event. For car accident victims this often means a fear of riding in or driving a car.
- Hyper-vigilance or paranoia.
For some people, these symptoms may become debilitating and interfere with their everyday life. For example, a Missouri driver, who suffered from a fractured neck during a car accident, had PTSD symptoms so sever afterwards that he was unable to rejoin the work force. After a jury trial, his peers awarded him $650,000 for the damages he incurred, including the mental anguish and ensuing PTSD.
Complexity of Proving PTSD
Proving any type of mental illness after an accident, particularly one as complex as PTSD, requires the skills of a dedicated St. Louis car accident attorney. Since the symptoms and even the onset vary greatly from case to case, it will take compelling evidence from an expert to help sway a jury in your favor. While the disease has become more widely known in the medical field, most of us still associate it with war veterans and have a hard time accepting that diagnosis stemming from other types of events.
When faced with the challenges presented by PTSD, the victim may lose the ability to function normally, as in the case mentioned above. As their quality of life diminishes due to the illness, the disease may worsen and the symptoms may be further exacerbated. It is important that the families of these victims recognize the signs of the illness and help their loved one get the help they need. Receiving monetary compensation for the damages from the accident can help facilitate that.
In the weeks and even months following a devastating car accident, it is important to note behavioral changes in your loved one. If you feel that the mental anguish has crossed the line into PTSD, consult a physician immediately and then call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242. We can help you ensure that the medical treatment necessary is provided for.
St. Louis Car Accident Injuries
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