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When you are involved in a car crash, most of your injuries are readily apparent. You may suffer broken bones, lacerations, soft tissue injuries, and ligament sprains. But what is less apparent are the injuries that may occur to your psyche. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition most associated with combat soldiers and crime victims. In fact, PTSD used to be known as combat fatigue and shell shock. However, these earlier names were insufficient to convey the true depth and symptoms of the injuries involved. In addition, it has become clear that people involved in serious car accidents can suffer from PTSD as well. This is why your personal injury attorney can put in a claim for PTSD or emotional distress if you have been so injured in a collision.

What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?

The National Institutes for Health (NIH) has been studying PTSD after serious motor vehicle accidents. According to the NIH, there are many symptoms of this including re-experiencing the trauma, persistent avoidance of thoughts or situations associated with the accident, numbing of emotional responsiveness, and increased physical arousal. Those suffering from PTSD may experience one or more of these symptoms.

Re-experiencing the trauma may involve intrusive thoughts about the accident that disrupt your usual thought patterns. It may also include re-living the experience in dreams and nightmares. If a person is reluctant to drive, this may be considered a persistent avoidance of the situation. For example, the accident may have occurred on a very rainy day, and now you feel afraid of driving during inclement weather. Even avoiding the topic of the accident itself may be symptomatic of PTSD, as this requires you to relive the traumatic experience.

Other PTSD symptoms can have physical manifestations. Feeling detached from others may lead to being moody and short-tempered. This can also be seen in being unable to sleep, avoidance of physical intimacy, and finding yourself easily startled. If left untreated, PTSD can lead to substance abuse as people try to self-medicate their condition.

Can PTSD be Treated?

There is no time length to PTSD, no matter the cause. If you are suffering from PTSD, the symptoms can last a few months or weeks but may last even years if left untreated. Sometimes, the symptoms of PTSD can persist long after your body has healed from the physical wounds you sustained in the car wreck. Fortunately, therapists have developed ways to address the condition for those who have been diagnosed with PTSD.

Depending on your symptoms, a licensed therapist may try to treat your PTSD through cognitive or exposure therapy. This involves helping you overcome the obstacles that are blocking your ability to process the trauma you experienced. The goal is to eventually allow you to deal with the painful memories of the accident. This will lead to an abatement of the symptoms.

In the interim, many psychiatrists favor prescribing antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication. This will allow a person to perform daily functions while going through the therapy process. There are some risks as many of these medications are addictive and have side effects. Therefore, they should only be prescribed by a licensed psychiatrist who will monitor treatment to ensure the medications are working and not causing other problems.

Can I Collect for PTSD in a Car Accident?

Texas allows you to claim for intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress in a car accident claim. The determination of whether your attorney will sue for intentional or negligence will depend on the specific facts of the collision. In either case, you will be compensated for your PTSD.

The specific damages from your PTSD will vary depending on your own experiences. Still, most claims will provide for reimbursement of medical expenses associated with the PTSD. This will include any therapy you need to treat the symptoms. You may also be reimbursed for the costs of medications if any have been prescribed. Your attorney will probably also put in a claim for pain and suffering. Other damages like lost wages and loss of consortium (the inability to have relations with your partner) will depend on your specific circumstances.

If You Are Suffering From PTSD as the Result of a Traffic Accident, Call Our Firm Today!

Involvement in a motor vehicle accident can cause you to suffer from symptoms of PTSD. You are not only able to get treated for this trauma but may also be eligible to be reimbursed for your injuries and expenses. The experienced car accident attorneys at Hernandez Sunosky LLP can help you with your car accident case and get you the treatment you need for your PTSD. Contact us today.