According to the National Center for PTSD, close to 10% of the population will suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives. The condition is most well-known for affecting soldiers that come home from war, but many other types of trauma can also trigger the onset of this disorder. Accident victims often suffer from a combination of physical and psychological injuries, but it’s also possible to suffer from PTSD after an accident even if you did not have a physical injury.
When you’re suffering psychologically due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional act of another person, it’s possible for victims to collect a substantial amount of compensation. An experienced Orange County PTSD lawyer can help you collect money for medical expenses, current and future lost earnings, pain, suffering, and mental distress. Call the personal injury attorneys at Crockett Law Group today to schedule your free consultation and learn more.
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What Is PTSD?
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a difficult-to-treat chronic psychological condition that usually occurs after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event such as a natural disaster, act of terrorism, war/combat situation, or a serious accident. It can last for months or even years, with triggers that bring back memories of the trauma producing intense emotional and physical reactions. A diagnosis of PTSD requires exposure to a traumatic event, but it doesn’t have to be firsthand. It can occur as a result of being told about the violent death of a close family member.
Can You Get PTSD From a Car Accident?
Car accidents are not the leading cause of PTSD in the United States. However, the more serious an accident is, the more likely it is that you’ll suffer from PTSD in addition to any physical injuries you sustain. Head-on collisions, where you can see a vehicle coming at you at high speed before the impact are likely to cause flashbacks and other symptoms. Rollover accidents where unbelted passengers are ejected from a vehicle can cause PTSD for both the person that was ejected and those that witnessed it.
Truck accidents, especially those that involve fires and explosions, often trigger long term PTSD. In some cases, PTSD can be debilitating after a low impact collision that did not cause serious injuries. When people relive the feeling of narrowly surviving something that could have been much worse, they can become afraid to even be a passenger in a vehicle.
How Do You Treat PTSD?
If you’re suffering from PTSD, there is therapy and medication available that can help you recover. The goals of treatment are to improve symptoms, develop coping skills, and restore self-esteem. The following types of therapy are used to treat PTSD:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy works to change thought patterns that cause disturbances.
Prolonged exposure therapy uses breathing techniques that can be helpful. This is especially effective when combined with medications to reduce your stress level as you are given increasing exposure to being in a car, driving at escalating speeds, or being comfortable as a passenger in a vehicle.
Cognitive Processing Therapy involves writing about the event and discussing ways to process the trauma with a therapist.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a technique where you think about the events while concentrating your vision on a flashing light or a sound with a view towards changing how you feel about the trauma.
Medications in conjunction with therapy are the most effective way to treat PTSD. These are some of the medications that have been successful:
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Paroxetine (Paxil)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
- Venlafaxine (Effexor)
Not all of the above medications have been approved by the FDA for use with PTSD but using “off label” medications can often help find the one that helped most, as people react differently to psychiatric medications.
How Long Does PTSD Last After A Car Accident?
PTSD is one of the most challenging psychiatric illnesses to treat. It’s rare that treatment is effective quickly and can take many months or even years for real improvement. Medications have side effects that may require trying several different types and combinations before they are helpful at all. It’s also common for improvements to come in waves, with regressions that can last months or years in between. Sometimes there is no real impact from years of treatment and the person must learn to live for the rest of their life with intrusive thoughts, phobias, and other symptoms.
How Much Compensation Do You Get for PTSD After A Car Accident?
The amount of compensation you can expect to collect for a PTSD injury in Orange County will depend greatly on:
- How well you respond to treatment
- How long your case takes to respond to treatment
- How much time you lost from work as a result of your PTSD
- Whether or not the condition has permanency
For example, if you’re in a car accident and become a victim of catastrophic injuries, you could collect a very substantial amount of compensation even if you had no physical injuries. If the trauma prevented you from working, driving, and caring for your home and children, this would be sufficient for a very large settlement or verdict.
Call Our Orange County PTSD Lawyers Today
You can count on our Orange County PTSD attorneys at Crockett Law Group to know how to collect the largest amount of money possible to pay for medical treatment, reimburse you for your lost earnings, and compensate you for your pain, suffering, and mental anguish. We’ll launch a thorough investigation of your case, ensuring that we have the evidence to present a strong case on your behalf. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and our legal strategy so you will have a complete understanding of all issues. Please call (800) 900-9393 today to make an appointment.