Compensation for PTSD Following a Traffic Collision
One of the most overlooked damages, at least initially, after a traffic collision is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Combat soldiers are not the only people subject to this form of psychological damage; rape victims, domestic abuse victims, police officers, ER surgeons, firefighters, extreme sport athletes, and anyone who has been in a life threatening situation or suffered a serious injury can come away with emotional scarring that may last for months, years, or for the remainder of their life. Victims of traffic collisions frequently deal with long lasting emotional damage that affects nearly every aspect of their lives. If you were injured in a serious crash, whether you were an occupant of a vehicle, a pedestrian, a cyclist, or a motorcyclist, you deserve to be fully compensated for all of your damages, including PTSD.
You Need to be Tested For PTSD
It is important to be screened for PTSD following the collision. PTSD can be accurately diagnosed and medically documented, which will ensure that it is taken into account during compensation by the negligent party. Unfortunately, not all hospitals screen for PTSD, especially if a victim’s injuries are “only” minor to moderate. If you were not diagnosed with PTSD in the hospital, you can arrange to take a test performed by a medical professional so that it becomes part of your personal injury claim record.
Symptoms of PTSD
- Extremely stressful memories from the event, or flashbacks;
- Fear of doing the activity, or fear of a place, during which the injury occurred;
- Difficulty maintaining relationships;
- Other self destructive behaviors;
- Hopelessness of the future;
- Memory problems;
- Lack of interest in activities that the victim once enjoyed;
- Feeling numb;
- Guilt or shame;
- Difficulty concentrating; and
The High Cost of Trauma Therapy
Trauma therapy is expensive, and takes months or years to be successful. In many cases, serious PTSD is never resolved. A therapy session typically ranges from $100 to $200 an hour, and patients are often encouraged to seek treatment every week, or bi-weekly. Mental health affects physical health as well. To give an example of how expensive living with PTSD can be, the average healthcare cost for a veteran with PTSD is double that of a veteran without PTSD, and these expenses can last a lifetime. For individuals with underlying mental health illnesses, PTSD treatment becomes much more expensive, with one study reporting the average annual cost of PTSD treatment of $36,000 for these victims.
Lost Joy of Life
PTSD negatively affects the victim’s life in almost every way. It can have a detrimental effect on their happiness, joy of life, ability to sleep, their ability to care for their children or elderly parents, and their relationships. Loss of joy in life is impossible to fully compensate with money, but ensuring that you have the financial tools to get better, or to compensate for the shortcomings that PTSD poses, is essential.
Losing Your Preferred Mode of Transportation Due to PTSD
Victims of car crashes are typically fearful to get behind the wheel of a car again following a serious injury. It may take months before they feel safe, or longer. Sadly, when the victim is a vulnerable road users, such as a motorcyclist or bicyclist, the lasting effects of PTSD are much stronger. Vulnerable road users are the minority out on the roads, and are at a much greater risk of being hit again. The rush and noise of passing traffic, the close proximity of large vehicles, and the outward aggression of drivers can lead to cyclists, pedestrians, runners, and motorcyclists to give up their sport or preferred mode of transportation for months, years, or permanently.
Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity Due to PTSD
PTSD, whether it is short lived (months), or life-long, can impact your ability to earn a living. Due to the mental impact, such as insomnia and difficulty concentrating, this can lead to a serious loss in revenue for the short or long term. In addition to your physical injuries and the potential limitations they pose on your earning capacity, so too do the limitations that PTSD has on your ability to earn a paycheck. This must be accounted for in the personal injury claim.
A Naples Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Attorney is Here to Help
PTSD is a serious mental condition that needs to be diagnosed, treated, and compensated for. The at-fault party is responsible for paying these damages, and the experienced Naples personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A. can help make sure that happens. Call us today at 239-649-8050 to schedule a free consultation at your soonest convenience.