Can a Truck Accident Cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
When post-traumatic stress disorder comes up in conversation, many assume that it primarily applies to those who have served in combat overseas. However, did you know that there are many events that are linked to post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD?
The Mayo Clinic defines PTSD as “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event.” It adds that the condition may be caused by experiencing or witnessing the event.
Symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, flashbacks, and anxiety. The inability to control one’s thoughts about the event may also be a symptom of PTSD. In many cases, these symptoms appear within a month or so of the traumatic event. However, in other cases, symptoms may not show up for years.
PTSD often interferes with a victim’s daily life. Those with PTSD may wish to avoid people and certain places or they may suffer emotional distress when they see something that reminds them of the event. Their relationships and their job performance may suffer.
Children may also suffer from PTSD. Their symptoms most often include nightmares and reenacting the traumatic event.
Accidents and PTSD
A truck accident may certainly qualify as a “terrifying event” when considering a diagnosis of PTSD, especially in serious accidents where major injuries or deaths have occurred. Witnessing the serious injury or death of a loved one is highly traumatic and is likely to cause PTSD. Similarly, reliving one’s own injuries or near-death experience is terrifying and disturbing.
If left untreated, PTSD may result in dangerous symptoms, such as drug and alcohol abuse, mental health disorders, and suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
How is PTSD diagnosed?
PTSD requires diagnosis by a medical professional.
If you believe that you are suffering from PTSD, a medical professional typically conducts a physical and psychological exam and asks you questions about the event you have experienced. The criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) are also used to make a diagnosis.
Your medical professional may recommend a combination of psychotherapy and medications to help you minimize the effects that PTSD has on your daily life.
Recovering the costs of post-traumatic stress disorder after an accident
Post-traumatic stress disorder falls under emotional distress damages. There are no concrete numbers associated with emotional distress as there are with medical bills or lost wages. This is why emotional distress damages are known as non-economic damages. Attorneys generally examine the extent of the emotional distress and how long the victim has been suffering to come up with a damages amount.
Of course, there are some economic damages, or those that do have concrete numbers associated with them, that may stem from post-traumatic stress disorder. Counseling expenses, prescription costs, and missing time from work are all examples of economic damages you may claim after your accident.
If you have been injured and are suffering emotionally, call Leonard Legal Group
At Leonard Legal Group, we understand the psychological harm that truck accidents cause. We pursue all avenues of recovery to ensure you receive the money you deserve. To schedule an appointment with our firm, call our 24-hour call center at 973-984-1414 or contact us online.