A car accident is an extremely traumatic event for anyone. Some people manage to get over it in time and be able to look optimistically to the future. However, many accident victims develop PTSD after a car crash. And an experienced Greenville car accident attorney can help them get compensation for their mental health problem.
Here are the most important facts you need to know about seeking compensation for PTSD after you were involved in a car accident.
What Is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition triggered by being involved in or witnessing a traumatic, shocking, dangerous, or violent event. No one is immune from developing PTSD, not even those specially trained to respond to such events and provide relief.
Statistical data analyzed by the National Center for PTSD indicate that one in 100 Americans will experience an episode of this condition at some point in their life.
How Is PTSD Diagnosed?
Post-traumatic stress disorder, just like any other mental health condition, must be diagnosed by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. Self-evaluation and pronouncing yourself as affected by PTSD is not enough to prove damages in court. The basic conditions for being diagnosed with PTSD are:
- Having at least one re-experiencing symptom
- Showing at least one avoidance symptom
- Having at least two triggering and reactivity symptoms
- Having at least two mood and cognition symptoms.
Re-experiencing symptoms include having flashbacks and nightmares related to the car crash. Avoidance symptoms are situations when a person refuses to get into a car or any type of motorized vehicle.
Also, triggering symptoms refer to feeling startled by specific images or sounds, such as a car engine or a car stopping suddenly at a red light. Finally, mood and cognition symptoms cover all types of negative emotions and overall changed personality after the traumatic event.
Proving PTSD After a Car Crash
Personal injury law states that the plaintiff has the burden of proof. The four elements your Greenville car accident lawyer must prove are:
- That the other driver owed you a duty of care
- That they breached their duty through negligence and caused the accident
- That you suffer from PTSD as a result of the accident
- This suffering resulted in economic damages.
Here are the most important things to do to prove that you developed PTSD after a car crash.
1. Talk With Your Treating Physician
While you receive treatment for the bodily injuries suffered in the accident, talk to your doctor about your nightmares, triggering episodes, and other instances of mental and emotional trauma.
Your doctor will likely refer you to a psychiatrist to be diagnosed and start counseling.
2. Attend All the Counseling Sessions
Follow the counselor’s recommendation and attend all therapy sessions. If you are prescribed medications, remember to refill the prescription for as long as it is specified.
An important part of proving your damages in a car accident claim is showing that you used all reasonable efforts to mitigate the respective damages.
3. Keep a Journal
Your therapist may recommend you keep a journal as a way of expressing your emotions. This is often helpful when you feel it would be too hard to talk about what you are experiencing.
At the same time, the journal will be a valuable piece of evidence that your lawyer will need to prove your PTSD. Corroborated with testimonies from your friends and family members, the attorney will prove how the accident changed your personality, outlook on life in general, and state of mind.
4. Save All the Bills and Receipts
Finally, make sure that you keep every bill, prescription, receipt, and other document related to the treatment of your PTSD. You are entitled to recover these costs, not only the non-economic damages for pain and suffering.
Let an Experienced Greenville Car Accident Attorney Help You!
PTSD after a car crash can disrupt your life and rob you of the joy of living. The driver who caused the accident is responsible for compensating you for all material and emotional damages.
With the assistance of an experienced Greenville car accident attorney, you can receive the fair compensation you deserve. As a new client, you benefit from a free case review, so call us today at 864-310-7897!